Wednesday, Feb. 18

Contact: Jay Thompson

Cal Poly Rated Most Efficient University in the West by U.S. News

Rating Reflects How Cal Poly Spends to Deliver a Quality Education for Students

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly is rated the most efficient school among regional western universities in a U.S. News & World Report analysis that compared spending and educational quality.

U.S. News looked at the public and private colleges that scored the highest on overall undergraduate academic educational quality — as measured by their position in the magazine’s 2015 Best Colleges rankings — but that spent relatively less on their educational programs to achieve that quality.

According to the magazine, schools such as Cal Poly are doing a good job in managing their financial resources relative to other institutions that may have far greater resources because of more state funding, higher tuition or a larger endowment.

“This is yet another indicator of the quality and value of a Cal Poly education,” said university President Jeffrey D. Armstrong. “This ranking shows parents, current and future students, alumni and taxpayers that we are being judicious stewards in our mission to deliver a high-quality, cost-effective education.”

It’s vital for colleges to efficiently spend their limited resources to produce the highest possible educational quality amid a climate of diminishing state support and increased public scrutiny about the rising cost of going to college, the magazine said in a report released in January.

U.S. News measured financial resources by taking into account how much a school spends per student on instruction, research, student services and related educational expenditures. The financial resources indicator has a 10 percent weight in the Best Colleges ranking methodology.

The latest rankings are based on operating efficiency, which the magazine defines as a school’s 2013 fiscal year financial resources per student divided by its overall score in the 2015 Best Colleges rankings, which were released in September. Cal Poly ranked 10th in the magazine’s overall list of the West’s best universities on the Best Colleges list and was named the top public, masters-level university in the west for the 22nd consecutive year

The university’s spending per student for each point in U.S. News overall efficiency score was $222.36 — lowest among the top five western regional universities. The other schools were: Western Washington University, $229.07; California State University at Long Beach, $236.88; Cal Poly Pomona, $237.04; and Gonzaga University, $245.34.

The calculation reveals how much each school is spending to achieve one point in its overall score and thus its position in this year’s Best Colleges rankings. The premise of the analysis is that the less a school spent relative to its position in the overall rankings, the more efficient it was in its ability to produce a top-quality education, the magazine said.

Only schools that were numerically ranked in the top half of their ranking category in the 2015 Best Colleges rankings were included in this analysis.

U.S. News & World Report published its first “America’s Best Colleges” report in 1983. The rankings — the most widely quoted of their kind in the nation — have been compiled and published annually since 1985.

The U.S. News efficiency rankings are available at

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