Fresno Pacific University’s continued success in college and university rankings affirms both the university’s quality and its power to transform the lives of students and communities.
U.S. News & World Report placed FPU at number 13 in the social mobility category and at 41 in best values among Regional Universities—West in its 2022 Best Colleges rankings released today. Washington Monthly ranked FPU at 65 on its best value list and 105 overall in its nationwide Master’s Universities category, released August 29.
“Beyond ranking numbers, we at FPU hear constantly from students and families just how much our people and programs provide hope and success,” said Jon Endicott, vice president for enrollment management and student services. “Our students represent the face of the Valley, both ethnically and economically. Most are the first in their families to attend a university, and for them a bachelor’s or master’s degree is a dream come true.”
Some 49% of those enrolled at FPU campuses in Fresno, Merced, Visalia and Bakersfield are first-generation students. In addition, 45% identify as Latinx. No matter what their background, Fresno Pacific students have the highest four-year graduation rate in the region.
Statistics consistently show for most people a four-year degree leads to better employment, higher income, individual and family stability and personal growth. “FPU and other Valley universities never get the credit they deserve for enriching the region,” Endicott added.
Social mobility measures the rate at which students from low-income backgrounds earn their bachelor’s degree. U.S. News compares the graduation rates of students receiving federal Pell Grants to the rate of students who do not. Pell Grants are the yardstick because students who receive them typically come from households earning less than $50,000 per year, though the family income for most Pell Grant recipients is under $40,000.
In all, 67% of students at FPU come from families that earn less than $40,000 per year. Over 98% qualify for financial aid. “We work hard to be affordable because cost is a major concern to our students. Most graduate with thousands less in debt than the national average,” Endicott said.
The U.S. News West Region covers 15 states and about 125 schools, while Washington Monthly compares over 600 schools on one national list. Washington Monthly rankings are unique in that they analyze a school’s contribution to the United States, and pay significant attention to areas of inequality such as race and class.