2018 Best Bang for the Buck Rankings: West

Below are our rankings of America’s Best Bang for the Buck Colleges—our exclusive list of schools ranked according to how well they help non-wealthy students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices. The list is created by isolating the social mobility metrics from the main rankings of four-year institutions. Click here for detailed methodology, here for all of our other rankings, and here to download the full data set.

RankName8-year graduation ratePell/non-Pell graduation gapStudents receiving Pell GrantsFirst-gen studentsMedian earningsPredicted median earningsNet priceLoan repayment rate
1CA State University-Stanislaus (CA)*65%-1%60%57%$44,740 $39,413 $5,227 69%
2CA State University-Bakersfield (CA)*54%-1%62%56%$47,768 $37,313 $5,023 58%
3Heritage University (WA)53%14%76%64%$32,887 $27,667 $10,203 51%
4University of WA-Tacoma (WA)*75%-12%48%32%$53,903 $43,107 $6,869 81%
5Brigham Young University-Provo (UT)85%7%36%12%$57,599 $48,279 $10,734 86%
6CA State University-Los Angeles (CA)*58%-3%67%61%$44,790 $42,060 $2,745 62%
7CA State University-Maritime Academy (CA)*58%-8%32%24%$80,754 $57,080 $10,589 82%
8CA State Univ.-San Bernardino (CA)*62%-6%63%57%$45,545 $38,715 $5,315 54%
9Utah State University (UT)*59%9%36%30%$42,768 $33,334 $11,633 80%
10Trident University International (CA)°65%33%22%49%N/A$60,790 $12,971 56%
11Stanford University (CA)96%-5%16%22%$84,003 $73,963 $3,868 91%
12Brigham Young University-Idaho (ID)59%4%41%22%$39,789 $34,022 $6,949 80%
13Evergreen State College (WA)*68%3%45%30%$33,326 $27,361 $10,826 66%
14CA State Univ.-Dominguez Hills (CA)*53%-1%61%56%$43,572 $41,314 $2,126 54%
15Arizona State-West (AZ)*68%-11%49%37%$45,400 $39,011 $7,498 64%
16CA State University-Sacramento (CA)*62%-6%53%46%$47,254 $42,648 $7,030 70%
17Univ. of California-Merced (CA)*67%-2%61%51%N/A$45,990 $10,669 66%
18University of California-Irvine (CA)*88%-3%45%44%$55,935 $56,731 $10,375 79%
19Chapman Univ.-Academic Centers (CA)70%N/A45%49%N/A$42,413 $13,143 61%
20University of WA Bothell (WA)*80%5%34%32%$53,903 $54,652 $7,825 81%
21CA State University-Northridge (CA)*63%-10%53%50%$44,184 $41,579 $6,122 65%
22University of California-Davis (CA)*83%-6%41%38%$57,196 $54,280 $11,457 83%
23CA State University-Long Beach (CA)*76%-8%50%45%$47,407 $49,498 $7,372 76%
24CA State University-Fresno (CA)*64%-12%57%50%$43,625 $37,909 $4,830 67%
25Claremont McKenna College (CA)91%1%12%N/A$69,852 $61,208 $12,429 N/A
26CA State Univ.-Channel Islands (CA)*72%-17%48%47%$45,500 $43,124 $12,031 70%
27University of California-Los Angeles (CA)*93%-4%35%35%$59,464 $60,695 $9,325 81%
28Northwest Christian University (OR)61%2%51%40%$40,884 $37,068 $16,422 69%
29CA State University-Chico (CA)*66%-9%43%42%$45,742 $42,659 $10,731 73%
30University of Utah (UT)*76%-7%30%28%$50,578 $46,253 $12,213 79%
31Washington State University (WA)*69%-7%34%35%$47,903 $40,810 $12,799 78%
32Central Washington University (WA)*65%0%36%39%$45,290 $41,244 $11,271 70%
33University of California-San Diego (CA)*87%-3%38%36%$59,618 $64,385 $10,039 85%
34Thomas Aquinas College (CA)70%3%34%N/A$40,100 $30,629 $17,028 87%
35Harvey Mudd College (CA)90%-2%13%N/A$77,083 $63,503 $17,128 93%
36CA State Univ.-Monterey Bay (CA)*53%-1%48%44%$42,210 $41,290 $7,922 73%
37Southern Utah University (UT)*55%-6%37%32%$38,123 $33,881 $12,656 76%
38Fresno Pacific University (CA)71%-13%56%47%$40,695 $38,173 $15,320 65%
39Master's College and Seminary (CA)63%37%30%23%$40,105 $43,832 $20,908 84%
40Utah Valley University (UT)*43%-9%36%29%$43,678 $34,277 $7,376 69%
41University of California-Riverside (CA)*73%-1%57%44%$48,423 $51,147 $9,711 71%
42Pomona College (CA)94%4%19%23%$55,057 $60,713 $6,740 85%
43University of CA-Santa Barbara (CA)*83%-3%38%39%$52,702 $57,341 $11,233 77%
44Eastern Oregon University (OR)*46%-7%46%45%$38,678 $31,719 $13,714 62%
45CA State University-San Marcos (CA)*61%-6%47%45%$45,644 $44,232 $7,433 67%
46California State Univ.-Fullerton (CA)*68%-7%45%46%$45,904 $47,604 $5,404 73%
47University of Colorado-Denver (CO)*50%6%27%34%$64,391 $50,321 $12,434 69%
48CA Poly. St. U.-San Luis Obispo (CA)*78%-8%19%26%$62,529 $58,643 $13,068 88%
49University of Washington-Seattle (WA)*85%-6%24%32%$53,903 $58,087 $7,856 81%
50CA State Poly. Univ.-Pomona (CA)*71%-5%47%46%$52,002 $57,921 $9,883 77%
51Mount St. Mary's University (CA)70%8%59%49%$51,536 $50,038 $25,768 69%
52Oregon Institute of Technology (OR)*57%-6%31%39%$51,935 $49,806 $14,112 75%
53Woodbury University (CA)60%16%45%39%$46,246 $43,909 $24,721 66%
54University of California-Berkeley (CA)*93%-4%31%34%$62,795 $67,918 $9,666 79%
55University of Southern California (CA)92%-1%23%23%$68,824 $65,454 $17,477 85%
56University of Nevada-Reno (NV)*66%2%29%38%$45,645 $45,848 $12,811 73%
57Cogswell College (CA)55%4%49%32%$51,971 $49,470 $19,481 77%
58Eastern Washington University (WA)*57%-3%38%35%$41,852 $41,543 $10,205 72%
59Saint Martin's University (WA)65%-16%34%35%$46,612 $45,003 $16,194 74%
60University of Montana-Western (MT)*48%10%40%35%$30,925 $35,852 $8,986 67%
61Western Oregon University (OR)*52%-3%46%42%$38,334 $36,476 $14,299 65%
62University of the Pacific (CA)73%-2%38%34%$68,427 $53,607 $25,621 78%
63Western Washington University (WA)*74%-5%26%27%$44,175 $44,561 $11,711 78%
64CA State University-East Bay (CA)*56%-7%48%48%$51,346 $52,597 $8,651 65%
65University of California-Santa Cruz (CA)*80%-1%45%38%$44,537 $57,156 $12,337 78%
66San Jose Christian College (CA)69%2%37%34%$37,235 $40,656 $16,604 73%
67University of Hawaii-Hilo (HI)*45%-11%47%38%$34,800 $34,097 $9,739 65%
68Soka University of America (CA)80%-6%29%21%N/A$34,596 $8,258 72%
69Arizona State-East (AZ)*66%-13%38%37%$45,400 $48,235 $9,830 64%
70Weber State University (UT)*49%-15%27%37%$43,218 $39,793 $10,028 74%
71University of Wyoming (WY)*59%-13%23%29%$46,601 $42,586 $9,514 80%
72Univ. of Phoenix-Oregon (OR)°35%0%61%54%$51,364 $37,971 $18,942 33%
73Brigham Young University-Hawaii (HI)67%-13%24%21%$40,542 $38,581 $9,441 76%
74Linfield College-McMinnville (OR)72%-12%26%29%$52,296 $45,789 $21,951 86%
75Touro College Los Angeles (CA)44%36%35%32%N/A$47,812 $15,575 N/A
76Willamette University (OR)79%6%20%18%$49,577 $44,422 $23,750 87%
77University of Hawaii-West Oahu (HI)*51%22%35%43%$41,517 $51,273 $7,070 61%
78University of Redlands (CA)73%3%30%34%$53,417 $52,957 $24,232 77%
79Santa Clara University (CA)86%-6%12%18%$69,238 $65,141 $22,146 90%
80Sonoma State University (CA)*64%-4%33%39%$45,696 $46,153 $12,467 71%
81San Diego State University (CA)*74%-6%38%40%$48,923 $52,492 $9,897 71%
82San Jose State University (CA)*66%-1%42%46%$54,624 $59,723 $11,088 76%
83New Mexico Highlands Univ. (NM)*34%-9%53%47%$35,655 $33,766 $6,643 53%
84San Francisco State University (CA)*63%-1%44%45%$47,857 $48,914 $10,302 67%
85San Diego Christian College (CA)48%26%54%39%$34,949 $39,255 $26,199 72%
86Arizona State-Downtown Phoenix (AZ)*59%-16%41%37%$45,400 $41,172 $9,756 64%
87Humphreys Coll.-Stockton & Modesto (CA)52%-4%71%57%$29,322 $29,933 $13,824 35%
88Arizona State University (AZ)*65%-8%31%37%$45,693 $46,237 $8,923 64%
89Portland State University (OR)*56%-5%41%38%$43,222 $43,076 $13,407 64%
90University of Phoenix-Hawaii (HI)°33%9%40%54%$51,364 $47,577 $18,027 33%
91College of Idaho (ID)60%-8%38%32%$39,438 $42,649 $16,462 81%
92University of La Verne (CA)67%-4%46%48%$51,258 $51,230 $17,251 61%
93Simpson University (CA)68%-3%55%41%$33,543 $40,512 $16,246 69%
94Embry-Riddle Aero. Univ.-Prescott (AZ)61%-2%26%37%$62,179 $52,137 $29,450 74%
95Fort Lewis College (CO)*48%-3%34%32%$34,445 $31,924 $13,860 61%
96Univ. of Phoenix-Albuquerque (NM)°40%-2%62%54%$51,364 $42,193 $17,766 33%
97Humboldt State University (CA)*54%-12%53%41%$35,764 $38,085 $11,130 63%
98University of Idaho (ID)*59%-7%38%33%$40,797 $41,100 $12,496 71%
99John Paul the Great Catholic Univ. (CA)70%N/A29%N/AN/A$38,628 $25,642 N/A
100Pacific Lutheran University (WA)69%-10%30%27%$47,199 $45,663 $19,501 83%
101Montana State University-Northern (MT)*30%-11%47%37%$35,507 $33,855 $11,999 69%
102Whittier College (CA)66%5%36%36%$44,492 $48,313 $19,400 78%
103NM Inst. of Mining and Tech (NM)*48%-13%30%30%$53,309 $54,343 $10,291 84%
104Mills College (CA)72%-7%49%31%$39,639 $41,528 $20,530 71%
105Occidental College (CA)86%4%21%16%$50,335 $55,322 $16,220 91%
106Warner Pacific College (OR)55%-7%53%45%$36,614 $37,921 $19,663 61%
107DigiPen Institute of Tech. (WA)°53%-13%29%21%$81,300 $59,983 $33,521 86%
108California Baptist University (CA)63%-4%54%42%$41,613 $39,897 $26,124 63%
109Gonzaga University (WA)83%-5%17%16%$53,909 $51,441 $26,774 88%
110George Fox University (OR)69%-2%33%30%$43,676 $46,278 $22,409 80%
111Oregon State University (OR)*66%-12%30%32%$47,053 $48,935 $16,479 76%
112University of Portland (OR)81%-4%20%21%$54,599 $54,369 $26,269 89%
113Azusa Pacific University (CA)69%-3%32%36%$50,176 $47,569 $24,796 77%
114Southern Oregon University (OR)*47%-8%37%39%$37,574 $35,803 $10,643 60%
115Northwest University (WA)54%-1%37%34%$39,649 $43,030 $16,192 75%
116Pepperdine University (CA)85%2%19%21%$61,783 $57,114 $24,194 81%
117Alaska Pacific University (AK)54%9%30%34%$43,612 $43,721 $19,420 66%
118Seattle Pacific University (WA)75%-5%29%23%$45,931 $50,607 $22,324 88%
119University of Arizona (AZ)*62%-11%32%31%$45,486 $44,073 $14,098 72%
120University of Nevada-Las Vegas (NV)*50%-4%36%42%$43,728 $42,332 $10,131 60%
121Colorado School of Mines (CO)*78%-7%16%18%$79,049 $75,220 $21,753 89%
122Scripps College (CA)87%17%11%N/A$48,860 $53,775 $16,832 92%
123Point Loma Nazarene University (CA)73%-3%27%26%$50,137 $51,633 $25,366 84%
124Loyola Marymount University (CA)80%-1%20%20%$56,183 $53,269 $29,283 85%
125University of Oregon (OR)*70%-6%25%27%$42,761 $43,723 $13,051 70%
126University of Northern Colorado (CO)*52%-7%33%35%$39,939 $37,292 $17,008 75%
127University of New Mexico-Main (NM)*58%-4%39%41%$35,712 $39,376 $10,464 61%
128Westmont College (CA)78%1%20%16%$49,170 $48,040 $24,631 90%
129Colorado State Univ.-Fort Collins (CO)*67%-6%24%24%$45,035 $48,445 $12,309 77%
130Colorado College (CO)86%9%11%13%$41,857 $53,351 $8,618 90%
131Univ. of CO-Colorado Springs (CO)*51%-6%32%31%$41,508 $45,051 $13,165 70%
132Notre Dame de Namur Univ. (CA)57%-10%45%38%$53,296 $50,408 $24,199 70%
133Regis University (CO)54%2%26%38%$52,861 $51,273 $20,505 66%
134University of Phoenix-Arizona (AZ)°29%1%57%54%N/A$48,433 $16,449 31%
135University of the Southwest (NM)30%7%50%46%$40,103 $40,072 $14,905 54%
136Montana State Univ.-Billings (MT)*35%-1%35%41%$33,432 $35,451 $12,181 66%
137Nevada State College (NV)*31%-2%37%47%N/A$37,775 $11,969 55%
138Northern Arizona University (AZ)*58%-13%36%37%$39,387 $38,780 $12,469 60%
139California Lutheran University (CA)69%-6%25%30%$53,309 $52,690 $24,721 78%
140University of Hawaii-Manoa (HI)*62%-3%31%34%$44,335 $53,257 $10,565 77%
141Pitzer College (CA)86%5%16%18%$46,593 $53,138 $13,929 77%
142Saint Mary’s College of California (CA)69%-1%24%26%$58,312 $54,979 $26,331 77%
143University of Montana (MT)*50%-9%37%31%$34,696 $37,284 $12,200 66%
144National University (CA)40%-16%36%44%$57,026 $47,477 $23,313 60%
145CO Technical Univ.-Colorado Springs (CO)°37%-8%53%54%$46,933 $44,280 $19,630 35%
146Lewis-Clark State College (ID)*36%-13%37%42%$33,534 $36,168 $11,798 63%
147Prescott College (AZ)42%0%45%26%$34,156 $33,143 $19,970 63%
148University of San Francisco (CA)72%3%25%28%$60,980 $60,216 $25,051 77%
149Westminster College (UT)64%-16%24%28%$47,095 $49,248 $20,240 80%
150Chaminade University of Honolulu (HI)40%-11%44%40%$38,424 $40,779 $17,675 60%
151University of Alaska-Fairbanks (AK)*38%-19%22%41%$37,982 $37,716 $8,208 59%
152Alliant International University (CA)76%N/A11%36%$55,350 $62,715 $18,168 56%
153DeVry University-Arizona (AZ)°40%3%59%50%$46,100 $47,996 $26,247 43%
154University of Denver (CO)76%0%17%21%$53,046 $57,602 $21,422 79%
155California Institute of Technology (CA)92%-10%12%N/A$74,743 $89,094 $7,475 N/A
156Pacific Union College (CA)49%-13%47%26%$49,822 $47,457 $19,392 70%
157University of Alaska-Anchorage (AK)*36%-9%23%41%$43,015 $45,290 $9,013 64%
158La Sierra University (CA)49%-2%51%38%$43,559 $44,777 $20,387 67%
159Pacific University (OR)64%3%33%32%$42,867 $51,161 $24,524 81%
160Montana State University (MT)*52%-7%27%25%$40,395 $45,983 $15,178 80%
161Montana Tech/Univ. of Montana (MT)*52%-17%32%36%$40,796 $52,289 $10,770 66%
162Aspen University (CO)°51%N/A12%46%N/A$45,308 $15,774 N/A
163Colorado Mesa University (CO)*38%-10%38%41%$35,301 $38,431 $15,065 59%
164Lewis & Clark College (OR)79%0%21%14%$43,877 $50,043 $23,720 90%
165Rocky Mountain College (MT)45%-6%32%28%$38,182 $42,990 $15,998 76%
166University of Phoenix-Nevada (NV)°39%-6%48%54%N/A$43,136 $18,484 31%
167Whitworth University (WA)74%-19%25%23%$41,458 $44,556 $21,157 78%
168St. John's College (NM)50%-34%35%N/A$31,381 $24,765 $18,495 78%
169Reed College (OR)80%-7%18%13%$37,364 $49,241 $12,900 89%
170Whitman College (WA)88%-15%11%10%$45,174 $50,623 $19,360 94%
171University of San Diego (CA)78%-2%17%23%$58,289 $62,256 $25,217 83%
172Corban University (OR)60%-17%40%27%$35,647 $37,943 $19,728 77%
173Carroll College (MT)65%-22%21%20%$44,132 $47,203 $20,753 88%
174New Mexico State University-Main (NM)*52%-12%42%46%$33,894 $39,815 $8,698 55%
175Colorado Christian University (CO)49%-9%29%44%$39,052 $43,753 $22,570 67%
176Walla Walla University (WA)57%1%29%19%$44,848 $46,376 $20,674 76%
177Northwest Nazarene University (ID)46%-19%35%32%$36,667 $38,472 $18,255 76%
178Eastern NM University-Main (NM)*41%-10%35%46%$30,012 $36,212 $8,763 52%
179Argosy University-Phoenix Online (AZ)15%-1%72%50%$38,332 $31,187 $26,095 40%
180University of Phoenix-Utah (UT)°46%-13%38%54%$51,364 $48,899 $19,563 33%
181Seattle University (WA)80%-8%20%19%$55,829 $57,072 $28,910 80%
182Sierra Nevada College (NV)49%7%40%27%$44,069 $42,816 $23,924 57%
183University of Colorado-Boulder (CO)*70%-8%17%20%$48,467 $54,443 $17,475 77%
184Marymount College (CA)39%3%39%41%$34,533 $37,429 $21,319 56%
185Metropolitan State Coll. of Denver (CO)*36%-5%37%40%$38,835 $43,531 $9,595 56%
186Adams State University (CO)*34%-3%50%40%$33,988 $37,482 $14,099 47%
187Western NM University (NM)*35%0%46%48%$31,171 $37,038 $11,167 43%
188University of Alaska Southeast (AK)*29%5%18%38%$38,493 $44,649 $9,475 59%
189University of Phoenix-California (CA)°45%-3%48%54%N/A$50,009 $17,923 31%
190Vanguard University of So. California (CA)58%-10%41%36%$38,137 $46,903 $21,772 74%
191Idaho State University (ID)*38%-10%39%37%$35,307 $35,532 $15,236 55%
192University of Great Falls (MT)38%0%33%39%$31,919 $37,028 $18,150 59%
193Biola University (CA)70%-1%31%22%$42,254 $47,870 $26,782 82%
194University of Phoenix-Colorado (CO)°41%0%42%54%N/A$47,620 $17,695 31%
195Western State Colorado University (CO)*44%-7%26%26%$36,667 $43,506 $13,407 68%
196Hope International University (CA)48%-26%53%44%$35,755 $38,307 $18,799 59%
197CO State University-Pueblo (CO)*37%-10%38%41%$36,414 $43,423 $11,324 55%
198Naropa University (CO)56%-7%50%25%$20,162 $31,278 $25,322 66%
199Holy Names University (CA)24%10%48%44%$51,035 $49,883 $21,803 54%
200Boise State University (ID)*43%-12%33%36%$36,007 $40,584 $12,915 60%
201Grand Canyon University (AZ)30%-10%48%49%$47,593 $45,367 $21,532 35%
202University of Puget Sound (WA)77%-3%17%13%$50,697 $49,757 $33,233 89%
203Western Governors University (UT)42%-16%35%47%$39,137 $47,826 $9,536 54%
204DeVry University-Colorado (CO)°30%-17%54%50%$46,100 $46,623 $26,858 43%
205Concordia University-Irvine (CA)60%-14%28%30%$43,566 $49,485 $21,766 74%
206Stevens-Henager College of Business-Murray (UT)34%1%69%55%$29,975 $39,087 $26,009 29%
207Chapman University (CA)76%-4%19%17%$52,300 $53,592 $29,331 71%
208Arizona Christian University (AZ)55%-15%33%28%$32,569 $40,827 $24,965 64%
209Hawaii Pacific University (HI)40%-6%26%38%$44,527 $52,393 $23,023 71%
210Dominican University of CA (CA)60%3%31%33%$52,096 $59,551 $28,653 71%
211DeVry University-California (CA)°33%-17%63%50%$46,100 $53,224 $24,370 43%
212Mt. Sierra College (CA)°26%-67%76%50%$42,030 $43,792 $19,317 44%
213Argosy University-Orange County (CA)26%-50%62%50%$38,332 $47,565 $21,998 40%
Definitions:
Median earnings: median annual earnings 10 years after entering college.
Pell/non-Pell graduation gap: graduation rate for Pell students minus the graduation rate for non-Pell students; a positive number indicates that students who receive Pell grants graduate at a higher rate than those who don’t, and vice versa.
First-gen students: percent of students who are the first in their family to go to college.
Predicted median earnings: expected median annual earnings based on student demographic data, adjusted for institutions’ location and academic mission.
Net price: actual cost of attendance for first-time, full-time, in-state students with family incomes below $75,000 per year over the last three years.
Loan repayment rate: percent of students who pay back at least $1 in loan principal within 5 years of leaving college.
* = public
° = for-profit