Schools’ Rankings and Factors


In the WSJ/College Pulse ranking, schools’ overall scores are determined by three key factors. These factors include student outcomes, the learning environment, and the diversity of students and faculty.

Student Outcomes

Student outcomes make up 70% of the overall score. This category evaluates various measures such as graduation rates, graduates’ salaries, and how these salaries offset the cost of obtaining an undergraduate degree at each school.

Learning Environment

The learning environment contributes 20% to the overall score. It encompasses students’ evaluations of their school’s learning facilities and learning opportunities, as well as how well the school prepares them for their future careers. Additionally, it considers how strongly students would recommend their school to others.


The diversity of students and faculty accounts for the remaining 10% of the overall score. This category acknowledges the importance of a diverse community within educational institutions.

Top Small Colleges in the West

Here are the rankings for the top small colleges in the West:

  1. Claremont McKenna College – Claremont, Calif. (Rank 9)
  2. California Institute of Technology – Pasadena, Calif. (Rank 18)
  3. Pomona College – Claremont, Calif. (Rank 49)
  4. Fresno Pacific University – Fresno, Calif. (Rank 78)
  5. Seattle Pacific University – Seattle, Wash. (Rank 273)
  6. Point Loma Nazarene University – San Diego, Calif. (Rank 279)
  7. Colorado College – Colorado Springs, Colo. (Rank 339)
  8. George Fox University – Newberg, Ore. (Rank 363)
  9. The Master’s University – Santa Clarita, Calif. (Rank 368)
  10. The College of Idaho – Caldwell, Idaho (Rank 399)

Top Midsize Colleges in the West

Overall National Rank: College Location Rank

  1. Stanford University: Stanford, Calif. (Rank 4)
  2. University of La Verne: La Verne, Calif. (Rank 33)
  3. University of California – Merced: Merced, Calif. (Rank 59)
  4. Santa Clara University: Santa Clara, Calif. (Rank 75)
  5. University of Washington – Tacoma: Tacoma, Wash. (Rank 93)
  6. Pepperdine University: Malibu, Calif. (Rank 100)
  7. California State University – Monterey Bay: Seaside, Calif. (Rank 119)
  8. University of the Pacific: Stockton, Calif. (Rank 127)
  9. Gonzaga University: Spokane, Wash. (Rank 136)
  10. University of San Francisco: San Francisco, Calif. (Rank 155)

Top Large Colleges in the West

  1. Brigham Young University: Provo, Utah (Rank 20)
  2. University of Southern California: Los Angeles, Calif. (Rank 22)
  3. The University of Utah: Salt Lake City, Utah (Rank 43)
  4. University of California – Berkeley: Berkeley, Calif. (Rank 51)
  5. California State University – Northridge: Northridge, Calif. (Rank 53)
  6. California State Polytechnic University – Pomona: Pomona, Calif. (Rank 65)
  7. California State University – Sacramento: Sacramento, Calif. (Rank 71)
  8. Arizona State University: Tempe, Ariz. (Rank 72)
  9. University of California – Los Angeles: Los Angeles, Calif. (Rank 74)
  10. California State University – Fresno: Fresno, Calif. (Rank 80)

Regions are as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau

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