UC Santa Barbara has been ranked number 11 in a list of the Top 30 National Universities released today by Washington Monthly magazine in its September/October issue.

While U.S. News & World Report awarded its highest ratings to private universities in its recently released rankings (UCSB was number 39 in the U.S. News list of the top national universities – and No. 9 among public institutions), the editors of Washington Monthly prefer to give public universities more credit, and higher rankings. Thirteen of the top 20 universities in the Washington Monthly rankings are taxpayer-funded. Some of U.S. News & World Report’s top private universities are not ranked among Washington Monthly’s top 30.

The University of California dominated Washington Monthly‘s 2010 list, with UC San Diego, UC Berkeley, and UCLA ranking 1-2-3. UC Davis is ranked number 6.

“The University of California system stands out – five of our top eleven universities are part of the UC system, with San Diego joined by the campuses at Berkeley, Los Angeles, Davis, and Santa Barbara,” the magazine’s editors said. “Unfortunately, feckless voters and incompetent politicians have spent the last several decades running California into a financial ditch. When the recent recession arrived, higher education took a mighty hit, forcing the university to furlough staff and impose an astonishing 32 percent tuition hike. It’s terrible to watch a wealthy state like California dismantle one of the world’s great university systems. We hope they fix matters before UC schools begin to slide down in our rankings.”

UCSB’s number 11 ranking this year represents a significant jump from 2009, when Washington Monthly ranked it number 21 in the country.

Among the criteria considered by Washington Monthly are the percentage of students receiving Pell Grants; the difference between predicted vs. actual graduation rates; total research spending; Peace Corps service by graduates; faculty awards; and faculty members elected to national academies.


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