Despite this year’s tuition increases, CSU was recently ranked
27 in the nation for value and quality in Kiplinger’s Personal
Finance Magazine’s yearly list of the 100 Best Values in Public
CSU was ranked 22 spots higher this year than last.
“I think it’s a very good ranking. I feel very excited that we
have that ranking because it represents significant improvement
over last time,” said Provost/Academic Vice President Peter
To develop the annual rankings, Kiplinger’s narrows the list
down to the top 100 public colleges in the country based on
entrance exam results, admission rates, student-faculty ratio and
many other factors.
The top schools are then ranked using a formula with a
two-thirds emphasis on quality and a one-third emphasis on
CSU was the second-highest ranked Colorado university on the
list behind the Colorado School of Mines, which was ranked 25. The
University of Colorado-Boulder placed 43.
Recently, CSU was also ranked 55 in the nation by U.S. News
World and Report’s “Best Colleges Edition” and the National Science
Foundation put CSU in the top five percent of private and public
universities for receiving federal research support in engineering
and the sciences.
“You take (the ratings) as a whole and you’d be hard-pressed not
to conclude CSU is one of the best universities in the country,”
said CSU spokesman Tom Milligan. “Our focus has to be on providing
the best quality education possible, not on rankings, but it’s nice
when these rankings collectively confirm what we already know about
the quality of a CSU education and the value of a CSU degree.”
Nicholls agreed that the quality of education at CSU is very
“It’s a very friendly place. The faculty and staff really care
about the students,” he said. “We have so many nationally
recognized programs and when students come here, they get the
opportunity to work with professors who are leaders in their
disciplines and work on research projects in their disciplines.
It’s a very welcoming place.”
Milligan believes the high rankings CSU has been receiving are
due in part to the university’s dedicated faculty.
“That really is a reflection of the quality of our faculty,” he
said. “All of this stems from the very hard-working and very
talented faculty that we’re lucky to have here at CSU.”
In general, some students agree that the education they are
receiving at CSU is of very high quality.
“I get a good education. The professors are friendly and
knowledgeable,” said Severen McGowan, a sophomore psychology
Darby Harrison, junior fashion and merchandising major, agreed
that the education she receives at CSU is first-rate, but she
thinks it is too expensive.
“I think it’s a good education but it’s overpriced,” she
However, Nicholls said the tuition rates at CSU are better than
most other schools in the state.
“Our tuition rates are very competitive,” he said. “We have seen
a lot of large tuition raises at other schools and not to the same
extent at CSU.”
Milligan thinks the quality at CSU will continue to improve and
that the school will keep receiving high rankings.
“The level of fundraising is at an all-time high. Research
support seems to be breaking records every day. The quality of
students seems to be going up with every class. The quality of the
faculty as measured by publication in research journals and
scholarly pursuits seems to be improving,” Milligan said.
Nicholls said he hopes to see CSU’s ranking continue to rise in
years to come.
“We’re going to keep working as hard as we possibly can to get
an even better rating next time and we’re going to do that by
improving the quality even more,” he said.
Ideas for pull quote: “You’d be hard pressed not to conclude CSU
is one of the best universities in the country.” –Milligan
Idea for box: To view Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine’s
yearly list of the 100 Best Values in Public Colleges, visit