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Ordinarily, lists of the top 10 best colleges in the country include names like Harvard, Stanford and USC. But Cal State Long Beach is a rare sight on a top 10 list, despite its nationally ranked art department and comparatively successful graduation rates. 

Enter, the White House’s new proposed ranking system, which wants to assess colleges according to a value system and reward the institutions that are affordable, accessible and have high graduation rates with coveted federal funds. Though the system’s implementation is still being discussed, TIME Magazine tested the Obama administration’s new would-be algorithm and this month published rankings of schools according to their six-year graduation rates, the percentage of full-time, first-time undergraduates receiving Pell grants and the net cost for students receiving any form of aid whose families make less than $110,000 a year.

Using information for 2500 schools culled from the Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, a number of other California public schools, including CSULB, made up a bulk of TIME‘s top 10 list, with CSULB—the only CSU—coming in at number 10. 

“This newest ranking is another confirmation that Cal State Long Beach is among the nation’s best values in higher education,” said CSULB Interim President Donald J. Para. “We offer our students a high-quality, low-cost education. And, no matter what the criteria, different publications continuously recognize us as one of the country’s best value institutions, whether it be TIME magazine, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine or the Princeton Review/USA Today rankings.”

TIME’s list was published along with an in-depth story on why the proposed assessment system has proven to be controversial even before it’s had a chance to be implemented. And on, an interactive ranking slider allows readers to adjust the algorithm according to the variables which they find the most important, and watch the schools shuffle around accordingly. 

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