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University of the Pacific ranked No. 3 best-value college in California

The Economist and Brookings Institution also rate Pacific among best values nationally
Nov 3, 2015

University of the Pacific may be a better value than USC or UCLA, according to two new rankings from The Economist and The Brookings Institution.

Both rankings use data from the first-ever White House College Scorecard to assess universities' strengths in preparing students for economically prosperous lives.

The Economist ranked Pacific No. 12 nationally, ahead of Yale and NYU. The Brookings Institution gave Pacific a score of 98 out of 100, in a tie with MIT and 15 other institutions.

On both rankings, Pacific emerged as the No. 3 best value in California.

The two rankings used different formulas to analyze College Scorecard and other datasets for insights into college value, defined as the gap between what graduates earn and what they might have earned had they gone elsewhere.

According to the Scorecard, Pacific alumni earn a median salary of $66,400 a decade after they enter college. In comparison, USC alumni earn $66,100 and UCLA alumni earn $59,200.  (The Brookings Institution rankings also crunched data from the Payscale 2015-2016 College Salary Report.)

But while Pacific alumni significantly out-earn their peers from similar institutions with similar student characteristics, alumni of USC and UCLA, for example, earn significantly less.

Business students in the classroom

Other conclusions of the new rankings:

  • Liberal arts majors and strong earnings can go hand in hand. "Aggregate results from colleges do not back up warnings about studying the humanities," The Economist reported. The magazine noted that graduates of colleges with strong liberal arts programs "do not earn anomalously low salaries."
  • Diverse universities tend to deliver better value. "Mixing with many races appears to be good for the wallet," The Economist reports.
  • The Brookings Institution rankings showed that colleges offering the most "value-added" specialize in high-paying fields of study, such as medicine, business and engineering.
  • The Economist concluded that a pharmacy degree "is perhaps the safest route to the upper middle class in America today."

University of the Pacific in May celebrated a graduating class that included more than 200 pharmacists, speech-language pathologists and physical therapists; more than 200 attorneys; and about 190 dentists, dental hygienists and orthodontists. Another 900 students earned bachelor's degrees in liberal arts, education, business, engineering and computer science.

Pacific undergraduates are 27.3 percent white, 35.6 percent Asian/Pacific Islander, 17.9 percent Hispanic; 2.7 percent black; and 5.6 percent multi-ethnic.

The Economist's first-ever rankings can be found here: The Brooking Institution's Oct. 29, 2015, rankings are posted here:

Media contact: Claudia Morain | | 209.946.2313 (office) | 209.479.9894 (cell)

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