Students walk near Royce Hall on the campus of UCLA in Los Angeles on April 23, 2012. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
University of California–Los Angeles (UCLA) was named the top public university in the country this week by U.S. News and World Report, the 7th consecutive year it has received the designation.
The school was also named No. 1 for veterans for the seventh year as well, sharing the spot this year with UC Berkeley.
“The success we have had in college rankings is reflective of the hard work, dedication, resilience, ingenuity and excellence of the people who make up the Bruin community,” UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said in a recent statement in response. “More than anything else, UCLA is the best public university in the nation because of the contributions of our staff, faculty, students, alumni and friends.”
Among the top 25 national universities included in the ranking, UCLA ranked highest in the “social mobility” category, which looks at the academic success of different groups of students, particularly those who are first-generation and from low-income backgrounds.
According to UCLA, these students graduate at rates “comparable” to the campus’s overall graduation rate, which exceeds 90 percent.
The U.S. News and World Report creates its national rankings based on 19 measures, including the academic quality of students, graduation rates, student-to-faculty ratios, social mobility, and schools’ academic reputation, which is determined by a peer assessment survey of college presidents, provosts, and deans of admissions.
The University of California–Los Angeles in Westwood, Calif., on Jan. 22, 2018. (Joyce Kuo/The Epoch Times)
The school also stated in its announcement that a majority of students complete their education debt-free.
“UCLA opens the doors of opportunity to tens of thousands of students each year and remains one of our state’s greatest economic engines,” Mr. Block said in the statement.
According to the school, the primary factors that placed it in the top spot include its service to U.S. veterans, its housing system, research programs, graduation rates, and more.
In terms of veteran services, the school currently enrolls over 1,000 military-based students including veterans, spouses, or military dependents offering a Veteran Resource Center that provides academic support and counseling as well as career development.
Other resources include the UCLA/VA Veteran Family Wellbeing Center,
which assists vets and their families with counseling, therapy, and other career and mental health programs.
“I was not surprised to hear that UCLA was ranked so highly,” UCLA graduate student and Air Force combat veteran Tyrus Korecki said in a recent statement from the school. “The Veteran Resource Center has a first-of-its-kind mentorship program in which students get hands-on experience in research in STEM-focused
fields. Programs such as this make UCLA an excellent place for student veterans to grow and develop after their military service.”