UCLA isn't the best school in America, according to U.S. News & World Report's annual Best Colleges list. It tied with USC for No. 24 on the list.

It is, however, the most popular university among college hopefuls.

UCLA gets more applications than any other school across the land, U.S. News & World Report says. And it's not the first time. The publication states:

The University of California Los Angeles once again attracted the most applications, according to data submitted to U.S. News by 1,258 institutions. At UCLA, 86,548 Bruin hopefuls sent transcripts and test scores. It outpaced the University of California Berkeley, which was runner-up, by more than 10,000 submissions. 

UCLA has an acceptance rate of 18.55 percent.

U.S. News says California institutions took nine of the spots on the list of top 10 schools for application volume. Why?

A recent New York Times analysis of economic diversity at American colleges found that University of California campuses “still lead the nation in providing top-flight college education to the masses.”

The Times calls the UC system an “upward-mobility machine.”

UCLA boasts in a statement:
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UCLA consistently performs well in a wide variety of rankings. In U.S. News and World Report’s latest annual ranking of American colleges and universities, published Sept. 8, UCLA placed second among public universities. In August, Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s Academic Ranking of World Universities ranked UCLA second among U.S. public institutions and No. 12 overall. The latest Washington Monthly College Guide and Rankings, based on service in the public interest, put UCLA sixth.

Despite the skyrocketing costs of public higher education in California — taxpayers are covering less and less of the cost — attending a UC campus is still a deal, especially compared with the price of attending college outside the Golden State.

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