Money magazine included Fresno Pacific University in the top third of its list of Best Colleges in America, at number 209 of 727.

To qualify, schools must:

  • Have at least 500 students.
  • Have sufficient, reliable data to be analyzed.
  • Not be in financial distress.
  • Have a graduation rate at or above the median for its institutional category.

Categories are:

Quality of education

  • Six-year graduation rate.
  • Value-added graduation rate as the difference between a school’s actual graduation rate and its expected rate, based on the economic and academic profile of the student body.
  • Peer quality based on standardized test scores of entering freshman and the percentage of accepted students who enroll.
  • Instructor quality as measured by the student-to-faculty ratio.
  • Financial difficulties.
  • Pell Grant recipient outcomes based on how many Pell Grant recipients a school graduates.


  • Net price of a degree after financial aid.
  • Student debt rate.
  • Student loan repayment rate.
  • Value-added student loan repayment—rates after adjusting for the economic and academic profile of the student body.
  • Affordability for low-income students.


  • Earnings by alumni to
  • Earnings adjusted by majors as measured by whether students earn more or less than would be expected given what they study.
  • College Scorecard 10-year earnings.
  • Value-added earnings based on if a school helps launch students to better-paying jobs than competitors whose students have similar academic and economic backgrounds.
  • College Scorecard employment outcomes.
  • Job meaning, using the average score of alumni to’s survey question: “Does your work make the world a better place?”
  • Socio-economic mobility index, or percentage of students each school moves from low-income backgrounds to upper-middle-class jobs by the time the students reach their mid-30s.

The list was published August 13, 2018. More at



Wayne Steffen
Associate Director of Publications and Media Relations