The Top 25 Schools In The West 2019

This is the seventh-consecutive year that Stanford University ranks among the top three universities on Forbes’ list of America’s Top Colleges. Carrying a history of innovation and excellence, Stanford’s nearly unmatched reputation makes it the best school in the West, a competitive alternative to the East Coast’s Ivy Leagues.

The California Institute of Technology, known for its world-class engineering and technology programs, claims the second spot in the region and the No. 8 spot in the overall ranking. Meanwhile, the No. 3 school is Pomona College, the oldest member of the Claremont Colleges, which also ranks as the best liberal arts college in the country. 

California makes a strong showing on this year’s list, boasting the best 10 schools in the West and five universities in the Top 25 in the country. The high salaries students from California schools earn after they graduate boosts their ranking on the list. According to PayScale’s data on mid-career median pay, Stanford graduates earn $79,000, CalTech alumni make $84,100, and Pomona grads make $63,800.

This year sets the record-high number of public schools in the West’s top 25, with 11 public universities across three states in the region. Six out of all 10 public universities in the University of California System are in this year’s top 25 schools in the West. University of California Berkeley continues to be at the forefront of innovation and leadership claiming spot No. 4 on the list. Other UC’s jumped to higher ranks than last year, such as the University of California, Los Angeles (8), the University of California, San Diego (14), the University of California Santa Barbara (15), the University of California, Irvine (16), which jumped up five spots this year, and the University of California at Davis (16). 

Although California has the most schools on the list, there are three schools from Colorado: the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado College, where students take one class at a time through its “Block Plan,” and the Colorado School of Mines, which is home to the largest college chapter of the Society of Women Engineers.

The two new-comers on the list are the California Polytechnic State University at San Louis Obispo at No. 24 and Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles at No. 25. Located in the “Happiest City in America,” the California Polytechnic State University prepares its graduates to work at companies such as Apple, Amazon and Oracle. Loyola Marymount University is a private Jesuit university with strong programs in entertainment, business and communication.

Following are the top 25 schools in the West:

25. Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles

24. California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

23. Reed College

22. Occidental College

21. Brigham Young University

20. Colorado School of Mines

19. Colorado College

18. Whitman College

17. University of California, Davis

16. University of California, Irvine

15. University of California, Santa Barbara

14. University of California, San Diego

13. University of Washington, Seattle

12. Scripps College

11. Pitzer College

10. Santa Clara University

9. United States Air Force Academy

8. University of California, Los Angeles

7. University of Southern California

6. Claremont McKenna College

5. Harvey Mudd College

4. University of California, Berkeley

3. Pomona College

2. California Institute of Technology

1. Stanford University

I cover higher education as an editorial intern at Forbes. I am a rising senior studying communication and philosophy at Boston College, where I write about culture and

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