Forbes lists UC Berkeley as the No. 1 on America’s Top Colleges

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UC Berkeley was ranked the No. 1 on this year’s Forbes list of America’s Top Colleges, surpassing the acclaimed Harvard and Stanford.

“Cal’s 31,000 undergraduates pay just over $14,000 a year ($29,000 more for non-California residents) in tuition and fees for an education that is arguably richer than what they would receive at arch-rival Stanford,” part of an article written by Forbes about the school that was founded in 1868.

In a statement, the news organization said that it used “a methodology counting low-income student outcomes and added a giant federal database to Forbes’ tally of graduate earnings” as it retooled this year’s criteria.

It led to an uncommon list as compared to the past week, and for the first time, the top spot was claimed by a public college.

“Public universities deliver the most outstanding education to the broadest range of students at the most affordable price,” Forbes said. “That’s the message of Forbes’ 2021 ranking of top colleges.”

2019’s No. 1, Harvard, has landed in the seventh. The annual list was not made last year because of the pandemic.

According to Forbes, “21% of incoming freshmen and 43% of Cal’s transfer students receive Pell Grants, money offered by the federal government to help low- and moderate-income families afford college.” It added that only 12 percent of Harvard undergrads at the Massachusetts Ivy League School get Pell Grants.

Making it to the top 25 of the list were three other University of California schools, which include Los Angeles, garnering the 8th spot; San Diego, 15th; and Davis, 20th. Another Bay Area University, Stanford, landed in the fourth spot, SFGATE reported.

Among the reasons cited by Forbes for UC Berkeley to rank No. 1 are “world-class academics, great sports, a stunning Bay Area setting, reasonable costs and a storied history.”