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UCLA ranked #1 public university by US News & World Report for sixth consecutive year

As a first-generation student, Alvina Zhan knew that getting accepted into a top university was only the first of her challenges. Zhan wanted to find a school that offered him a wide range of educational opportunities while supporting his individual success like a small liberal arts college would.

This alignment brought her to UCLA, where she excelled.

“Accessibility and strong academic support are everything to me,” said Zhan, a sophomore from the Bay Area town of Fremont, Calif., who credits the University’s academic advancement program. ‘UCLA and in particular to the mentors of the students, faculty and staff of the program helping it adapt to the rigors. of higher education.

“For many first-generation students like me, we often don’t have the luxury of exploring our academic interests and must instead focus on supporting our families throughout high school,” Zhan said. “However, UCLA provided me with the space I needed to achieve my academic and personal goals.”

This commitment to student success has caught the attention not only of prospective students and their families — UCLA has been the nation’s most applied school for several years in a row — but also of U.S. News & World Report, which once also named UCLA the No. 1 public university in the United States in its annual “Best Colleges” ranking.

This is the sixth straight year that UCLA has been ranked No. 1.

The ranking, said UCLA Chancellor Gene Block, “is a recognition of the hard work of staff and faculty, who deeply believe in and carry our academic mission forward, even in the most challenging times. C t is a recognition of the genius, creativity, ambition and perseverance of our students, both in their time on campus and in their life as alumni.

UCLA shares the highest honor among public schools this year with UC Berkeley. Four other University of California campuses are among the top 10 public universities: UC Santa Barbara (#7), UC Irvine (8, tied), UC San Diego (8, tied), and UC Davis (10, tied).

UCLA is ranked first among the top 20 national universities, public or private, for social mobility, a measure of success for students from difficult socioeconomic backgrounds. US News considers the number of Pell Grant recipients enrolled, the six-year graduation rate of those students, and how that rate compares to non-Pell Grant recipients.

For the sixth consecutive year, UCLA has been named the #1 public university for veterans. UC Berkeley is also tied with UCLA in this category.

U.S. Army veteran Nam Yong Cho has made UCLA his No. 1 choice twice, first for his bachelor’s degree and then for medical school. Now studying to become a trauma surgeon, Cho moved to California from South Korea as a child. Growing up in Irvine, he was drawn to UCLA.

“Here was one of the best schools in the country, just a short drive from home,” said Cho, now 28.

He always knew he would serve in the military, he said, and to help his family with the cost of his education, he left UCLA in his freshman year and enlisted. in 2015. Serving in the military brought Cho to Afghanistan, where his work as a combat medic sparked his interest in trauma surgery. In 2019 he returned to complete his bachelor’s degree and in 2021 he entered the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

“For veterans, there is no other institution as accessible and supportive as UCLA,” Cho said. “Only UCLA has a dedicated Veterans Resource Center that guides you through using your veterans benefits and connects you to financial assistance programs, instead of having to research everything yourself. “

The US News “Best Colleges” ranking is based on 17 metrics, including graduation and retention rates, class sizes and graduates’ average federal debt, as well as the schools’ academic reputation, as determined by a survey. peer review of presidents, provosts, and deans of admissions at US colleges.

While UCLA scores highly on all criteria, its excellence is also rooted in efforts that are not reflected in US News rankings. For example, UCLA is the only campus in the UC system to guarantee housing to all students who seek it for the duration of their undergraduate studies, and it regularly wins awards for its dining and dining facilities. UCLA has earned a reputation as a place where people from all walks of life can shape their future success.

Emelin Vivar came to UCLA through her mentor, Venezia Ramirez. During Ramirez’s senior year at UCLA, she encouraged Vivar, who was then in high school, to imagine himself on the Westwood campus. The couple shared a journey similar to that of young Latinas in South Los Angeles who dreamed of broadening their experiences at college.

“I could never have dreamed of going to UCLA if I hadn’t met a Latin student like Venezia,” said Vivar, who is now in her second year.

Vivar recalled that during their weekly talks, Ramirez would tell her that after graduating from UCLA, she hoped to one day work for NASA or conduct research to address environmental inequities affecting her community. This type of ambitious speech left a huge impression on Vivar.

“It was my dream school ever since.”