Out of 386 public and private universities across the nation, Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) has been ranked as the tenth best “Bang for the Buck” college.

WashinMonth 2014This marks Washington Monthly’s second year in offering a “Buck” measure since it created its College Guide rankings in 2005. CSULB has unfortunately dropped four spots since 2013’s rankings, where it sat at a loftier #6. The drop in ranking is likely due to the school’s increase in overall cost: last year, the net price of attending CSULB per year sat at $5,699 while this year saw a hefty 30% increase over that value, peaking at $8,080 per year.

According to the editors of Washington, the publication has not just questioned the value, exclusivity, or luxuriousness of colleges across the nation—but the benefit these colleges provide to taxpayers and our country. This was a precursor to the White House’s announcement earlier this year regarding its own new ranking system, where CSULB was declared a Top 10 school overall in the nation.

“Our rankings have always rejected the idea that expense, luxury, and exclusivity should be held up as the highest values for colleges and students to aspire to,” said the editors of Washington in their introduction to the rankings. “Instead, we ask a different question: What are colleges doing for the country? Higher education, after all, doesn’t just affect students. We all benefit when colleges produce groundbreaking research that drives economic growth, when they put students from lower-income families on the path to a better life, and when they shape the character of future leaders. And we all pay for it, through hundreds of billions of dollars in government-financed financial aid, tax breaks, and other spending.

Cal State Fullerton was the highest-ranking “Buck” institution in California, sitting at #4 (where it also sat last year). The number one “Buck” college was CUNY Brooklyn College, which ousted Amherst College (#5) from 2013’s top spot.

For a full list of the Best Bank for the Buck Rankings, click here.

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