SDSU, UC San Diego both named to Forbes' elite Top 25 list of Top Public Colleges in US

Seven of the Top 25 are located in California, according to Forbes

A student and her family pose for pictures on move-in day at San Diego State University in San Diego, on Aug. 21, 2020.
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Each year around this time, when the leaves back east think of turning color, when kids return to school and when San Diegans finally get the beaches to themselves, the folks at Forbes drop their annual lists of the higher-ed hits, including the Top 25 Public Colleges.

So how does this grouping distinguish itself from, say, Forbes’ 2023 rankings of the best 500 colleges? Simple: Top 25 Public Colleges "offer residents of their home states an elite education for thousands of dollars less than they would pay at a comparable private college," according to Forbes.

Now, we've seen this list, and among other things, it's worth pointing out that 7 of the Top 25 — more than 25% of — are from the Golden State. Six — 6! — of those are part of the UC system, and two — 2! — of them are both in the city of San Diego. So, hats off to:

1. University of California, Berkeley

2. University of California, Los Angeles

3. University of California, San Diego

5. University of California, Santa Barbara

14. University of California, Davis

16. San Diego State University

23. University of California, Irvine

So what's there to love about UC San Diego, other than killer architecture, its own eucalyptus grove and its proximity to what is practically its own beach? "The University of California, San Diego is a public research university that offers more than 100 undergraduate majors, including bioengineering, nano-engineering, pharmacological chemistry and theater. In fiscal year 2023, the university spent more than $1.7 billion on research," sayeth Forbes.

And what makes SDSU stand apart from its East Coast and Midwest competition besides iconic Hepner Hall, a bunch of ballers who nearly went all the way in 2023 and, of course, the Turtle Pond?: "San Diego State University is a public research university founded in 1897. The university is designated a Hispanic-serving institution and is San Diego’s oldest higher education institution. The university is located a half an hour from the United States’ border with Mexico," Forbes pronounced.

OK, Cal State San Marcos: Your turn to step up — there's always next year!

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