2019 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 grad rate gapNumber of Pell graduatesFirst-gen studentsMedian earningsPredicted median earningsNet priceLoan repayment rate
1Brigham Young University (UT)100%-1%96311% $59,636 $45,165 $10,737 85%
2Stanford University (CA)96%-4%25025% $91,782 $74,710 $2,800 90%
3CA State University–Stanislaus (CA)*66%-3%35456% $45,300 $40,345 $5,064 69%
4University of Washington–Tacoma (WA)*75%-5%4531% $56,813 $45,497 $5,981 81%
5CA State University–Los Angeles (CA)*59%-2%72660% $45,650 $43,384 $2,861 61%
6CA State University–Bakersfield (CA)*53%-2%30657% $48,114 $38,603 $5,119 57%
7Brigham Young University–Idaho (ID)64%1%20922% $41,554 $39,687 $6,838 79%
8CA State University–Northridge (CA)*64%-11%137452% $45,143 $43,718 $5,099 65%
9Utah State University (UT)*59%7%50228% $43,575 $33,197 $11,811 79%
10CA State University–Long Beach (CA)*76%-6%126346% $48,264 $50,905 $7,451 75%
11CA State University–San Bernardino (CA)*62%-6%66458% $45,474 $41,090 $5,925 53%
12University of California–Irvine (CA)*88%-4%165444% $57,580 $58,618 $10,413 78%
13Trident University International (CA)°69%21%1451%N/A $59,055 $13,480 52%
14University of California–Davis (CA)*85%-6%152338% $58,469 $56,945 $11,361 83%
15CA State University–Maritime Academy (CA)*60%-13%2123% $82,796 $63,312 $11,108 83%
16Heritage University (WA)45%9%1964% $34,145 $28,617 $10,047 51%
17CA State University–Sacramento (CA)*62%-6%64846% $48,455 $44,794 $7,240 70%
18University of Washington–Bothell (WA)*80%3%10831% $56,813 $55,783 $7,125 81%
19Touro College Los Angeles (CA)55%68%541%N/A $47,581 $16,473 N/A
20University of California–Los Angeles (CA)*93%-5%158435% $61,385 $62,510 $9,389 81%
21University of California–San Diego (CA)*88%-3%144337% $60,673 $66,496 $10,226 85%
22CA State University–Channel Islands (CA)*69%-10%12247% $49,800 $44,858 $12,367 71%
23Evergreen State College (WA)*67%-2%10230% $33,680 $27,164 $10,613 66%
24California State University–Fullerton (CA)*69%-5%97646% $47,033 $52,329 $5,856 73%
25CA State University–Dominguez Hills (CA)*53%-6%32156% $44,481 $43,013 $2,828 53%
26University of California–Merced (CA)*66%-6%52152%N/A $46,720 $11,119 67%
27Claremont McKenna College (CA)92%5%38N/A $71,026 $62,471 $12,737 N/A
28CA State University–Fresno (CA)*65%-11%81150% $44,741 $38,621 $4,725 67%
29CA State University–Chico (CA)*67%-9%49743% $47,170 $45,418 $11,109 72%
30Arizona State–West (AZ)*69%-12%7937% $47,700 $41,524 $7,257 63%
31University of Hawaii–West Oahu (HI)*53%38%443% $39,608 $46,154 $7,290 63%
32University of CA–Santa Barbara (CA)*83%-4%122940% $54,415 $57,481 $11,287 76%
33Washington State University (WA)*69%-8%63034% $50,035 $43,332 $12,523 79%
34Central Washington University (WA)*63%-1%32039% $46,422 $44,353 $11,200 70%
35CA Poly. St. University–San Luis Obispo (CA)*77%-9%47824% $65,631 $60,074 $13,495 88%
36CA State Poly. University–Pomona (CA)*70%-5%70346% $53,401 $58,010 $10,541 76%
37CA State University–Monterey Bay (CA)*54%0%23145% $43,385 $42,802 $8,587 71%
38Harvey Mudd College (CA)91%-1%23N/A $79,393 $66,123 $16,215 N/A
39University of California–Riverside (CA)*73%-2%171444% $49,428 $52,930 $9,278 69%
40University of Washington–Seattle (WA)*84%-6%99531% $56,813 $59,652 $7,492 81%
41Thomas Aquinas College (CA)77%7%26N/A $36,776 $30,440 $17,700 90%
42Pomona College (CA)95%4%6125% $55,815 $62,295 $6,860 N/A
43Oregon Institute of Technology (OR)*55%-1%5638% $55,378 $53,161 $14,626 76%
44CA State University–San Marcos (CA)*61%-5%26545% $47,291 $47,382 $7,852 67%
45University of California–Berkeley (CA)*93%-3%96533% $64,010 $68,627 $9,804 79%
46Western Washington University (WA)*74%-5%39427% $45,604 $45,982 $11,661 77%
47Soka University of America (CA)84%-7%32N/AN/A $35,390 $7,410 79%
48University of Utah (UT)*71%-11%32227% $52,276 $47,686 $11,976 78%
49Southern Utah University (UT)*55%-7%13132% $39,740 $37,569 $12,952 74%
50Fresno Pacific University (CA)67%-7%6845% $41,842 $40,267 $14,191 61%
51San Jose State University (CA)*66%-4%74647% $56,013 $60,738 $11,660 77%
52University of Southern California (CA)92%-5%9323% $72,253 $67,210 $17,650 85%
53Arizona State–Polytechnic (AZ)*66%-9%7337% $47,700 $48,615 $9,462 63%
54CA State University–East Bay (CA)*60%-7%24849% $52,511 $53,096 $9,098 65%
55Eastern Oregon University (OR)*43%-9%5244% $39,971 $32,735 $13,040 59%
56New Mexico Highlands University (NM)*42%1%5345% $36,480 $32,993 $9,071 51%
57Arizona State University (AZ)*65%-11%130137% $47,335 $46,959 $8,895 63%
58Utah Valley University (UT)*38%-11%13527% $44,447 $36,732 $7,294 68%
59William Jessup University (CA)66%-2%3333% $38,750 $39,720 $17,713 73%
60University of the Pacific (CA)74%1%21534% $71,364 $57,674 $25,124 76%
61Saint Martin's University (WA)67%-15%4334% $47,385 $45,719 $16,853 75%
62Sonoma State University (CA)*65%-7%24739% $47,720 $47,562 $13,050 71%
63University of California–Santa Cruz (CA)*79%-2%117536% $45,841 $58,996 $12,370 77%
64Eastern Washington University (WA)*57%-6%27736% $42,900 $43,048 $10,205 71%
65Northwest Christian University (OR)59%-13%1740% $43,993 $38,759 $16,873 67%
66University of Nevada–Reno (NV)*61%-2%48138% $46,933 $47,911 $12,636 73%
67University of Redlands (CA)73%0%14534% $54,317 $53,349 $24,601 77%
68University of Colorado–Denver (CO)*51%4%16735% $58,090 $53,071 $12,715 69%
69San Francisco State University (CA)*63%-1%77245% $49,178 $55,414 $11,007 66%
70Mount St. Mary's University, Los Angeles (CA)67%8%10348% $52,897 $50,327 $26,548 67%
71Warner Pacific University (OR)61%-3%1944% $38,569 $38,452 $19,691 59%
72Master's College and Seminary (CA)65%9%3322% $40,794 $44,029 $21,499 83%
73Willamette University (OR)79%2%9318% $51,222 $47,555 $23,580 88%
74Portland State University (OR)*52%-2%25138% $44,273 $42,416 $13,392 64%
75San Diego State University (CA)*74%-5%70039% $50,182 $53,935 $10,289 70%
76University of Wyoming (WY)*59%-12%14528% $47,655 $43,097 $10,082 79%
77Western Oregon University (OR)*50%-4%18140% $40,002 $37,717 $14,180 63%
78Linfield College (OR)69%-9%9529% $54,782 $47,376 $22,024 84%
79Brigham Young University–Hawaii (HI)62%-17%2519% $42,710 $38,678 $9,186 76%
80Arizona State–Downtown Phoenix (AZ)*60%-16%23337% $47,700 $40,761 $9,536 63%
81Whittier College (CA)67%5%10434% $46,312 $49,058 $20,647 78%
82NM Institute of Mining and Tech (NM)*54%-10%3829% $53,275 $53,649 $10,834 83%
83Colorado School of Mines (CO)*75%-8%10817% $81,869 $75,665 $18,593 89%
84University of Arizona (AZ)*62%-11%118331% $46,562 $45,688 $13,889 72%
85Cogswell Polytechnic College (CA)46%10%630% $52,342 $51,085 $21,102 78%
86Mills College (CA)72%1%4430% $40,258 $42,426 $20,291 71%
87Southern Oregon University (OR)*46%-6%10239% $38,663 $36,492 $9,147 60%
88Occidental College (CA)87%1%10417% $50,555 $57,222 $16,402 91%
89Humboldt State University (CA)*54%-13%22242% $36,109 $39,039 $11,572 62%
90Weber State University (UT)*46%-17%10236% $44,225 $42,124 $10,396 73%
91University of Portland (OR)79%-4%15719% $57,415 $56,455 $26,756 90%
92University of Oregon (OR)*70%-9%62827% $44,114 $44,159 $13,018 69%
93University of Idaho (ID)*59%-8%40931% $41,623 $41,242 $12,745 70%
94California Institute of Technology (CA)93%-8%19N/A $83,463 $93,475 $7,288 N/A
95California Lutheran University (CA)70%-2%9631% $53,657 $53,072 $23,823 78%
96Pacific Lutheran University (WA)67%-15%11527% $48,862 $47,070 $19,358 82%
97Azusa Pacific University (CA)68%-6%21536% $51,586 $47,354 $23,498 75%
98Colorado State University (CO)*67%-8%62523% $46,722 $49,445 $12,843 75%
99Scripps College (CA)88%9%31N/A $51,941 $56,297 $16,545 91%
100San Diego Christian College (CA)50%10%1838% $36,003 $40,135 $26,184 67%
101University of Nevada–Las Vegas (NV)*50%-4%43142% $44,787 $44,538 $9,648 59%
102John Paul the Great Catholic University (CA)59%6%2N/AN/A $36,420 $24,714 N/A
103Seattle Pacific University (WA)72%-8%13025% $47,983 $49,239 $24,191 87%
104University of Northern Colorado (CO)*52%-8%33635% $41,308 $37,195 $18,108 73%
105Pepperdine University (CA)83%0%15519% $63,577 $57,853 $26,795 80%
106Colorado College (CO)87%3%4813% $43,373 $55,785 $7,831 89%
107Santa Clara University (CA)86%-4%15418% $71,501 $71,992 $21,361 89%
108University of La Verne (CA)65%-2%17447% $50,740 $52,933 $18,337 58%
109Simpson University (CA)72%-3%4038% $34,746 $42,559 $19,241 68%
110University of San Francisco (CA)73%2%22728% $62,550 $60,538 $24,614 76%
111Embry-Riddle Aero. University–Prescott (AZ)63%-9%5835% $65,125 $60,740 $29,982 74%
112Saint Mary’s College of California (CA)71%-2%15026% $58,560 $56,036 $25,888 78%
113Oregon State University (OR)*65%-13%57431% $48,753 $51,306 $17,076 74%
114Nevada State College (NV)*30%-5%1547%N/A $36,043 $12,271 53%
115Fort Lewis College (CO)*45%-8%9131% $35,305 $34,804 $14,310 62%
116University of Phoenix–Albuquerque (NM)°39%-6%3054% $50,159 $43,370 $18,181 32%
117University of Phoenix–Hawaii (HI)°42%-5%1654% $50,159 $48,505 $17,104 32%
118University of Hawaii–Hilo (HI)*44%-4%6239% $36,394 $36,833 $10,941 65%
119Point Loma Nazarene University (CA)73%-6%10626% $50,601 $53,920 $25,382 85%
120Prescott College (AZ)59%-3%826% $33,940 $34,450 $19,968 62%
121Northwest University (WA)55%-6%3436% $40,281 $44,756 $16,913 76%
122Notre Dame de Namur University (CA)58%-9%3640% $54,757 $50,608 $24,930 69%
123Westminster College (UT)66%-15%8028% $49,010 $50,036 $19,613 79%
124Northern Arizona University (AZ)*57%-14%57138% $40,410 $39,599 $12,675 59%
125Westmont College (CA)75%-1%6318% $50,070 $49,890 $24,348 89%
126University of New Mexico–Main (NM)*56%-5%58241% $36,373 $39,983 $11,866 58%
127College of Idaho (ID)64%-8%6131% $39,788 $46,280 $18,406 79%
128University of Phoenix–Phoenix (AZ)°28%2%14854% $47,100 $36,260 $16,576 32%
129George Fox University (OR)71%-5%11929% $44,264 $48,626 $23,320 79%
130Pitzer College (CA)86%4%3019% $47,835 $55,230 $13,888 77%
131Gonzaga University (WA)83%-4%16014% $55,648 $55,686 $27,755 89%
132California Baptist University (CA)62%-9%19440% $42,285 $42,417 $27,423 64%
133University of Hawaii–Manoa (HI)*61%-4%30634% $45,291 $53,771 $11,874 76%
134Chaminade University of Honolulu (HI)37%-7%6140% $39,196 $41,225 $18,173 58%
135Holy Names University (CA)31%16%3046% $50,082 $47,343 $20,432 55%
136Woodbury University (CA)55%-5%2337% $48,053 $46,363 $26,179 66%
137DigiPen Institute of Tech. (WA)°52%-18%1321% $81,446 $67,839 $34,012 87%
138Pacific University (OR)67%-2%8732% $44,754 $51,793 $25,194 82%
139Alaska Pacific University (AK)47%-14%438% $44,574 $43,881 $16,695 66%
140University of Colorado–Boulder (CO)*71%-8%56620% $50,239 $55,693 $16,517 77%
141University of Colorado–Colorado Springs (CO)*50%-7%14531% $43,091 $48,140 $13,188 70%
142University of Phoenix–Nevada (NV)°39%-5%2854% $47,100 $42,897 $17,492 32%
143University of Montana (MT)*48%-11%26730% $35,611 $36,415 $12,830 66%
144La Sierra University (CA)56%-6%4738% $46,048 $45,275 $20,832 66%
145Loyola Marymount University (CA)79%-5%18520% $58,821 $58,967 $29,467 84%
146Montana State University–Billings (MT)*35%-4%5140% $34,692 $36,982 $12,472 64%
147Lewis & Clark College (OR)76%-1%11315% $44,502 $55,272 $22,041 89%
148University of San Diego (CA)78%0%14423% $59,629 $64,725 $26,181 82%
149University of Denver (CO)74%-1%14919% $55,172 $59,431 $21,788 79%
150Colorado Technical University (CO)°30%-9%7555% $47,188 $43,003 $18,560 33%
151Regis University (CO)59%-3%9237% $54,497 $57,175 $20,487 66%
152Whitworth University (WA)74%-12%9322% $42,452 $46,183 $21,732 77%
153Montana State University (MT)*49%-7%38024% $42,221 $46,042 $15,435 79%
154Corban University (OR)62%-14%5425% $37,077 $40,606 $20,396 75%
155National University (CA)40%-23%744% $58,965 $47,703 $23,985 59%
156Northwest Nazarene University (ID)47%-15%4631% $38,494 $39,331 $17,376 76%
157University of the Southwest (NM)38%0%946% $38,981 $40,041 $18,117 54%
158Montana Technological University (MT)*50%-15%3033% $41,991 $48,920 $11,297 65%
159Reed College (OR)81%-3%4912% $39,430 $50,625 $15,308 88%
160Rocky Mountain College (MT)48%-9%4528% $39,656 $43,085 $17,118 77%
161Carroll College (MT)63%-18%4820% $46,643 $49,348 $21,227 87%
162University of Alaska–Anchorage (AK)*34%-11%5939% $44,831 $46,354 $10,417 63%
163University of Phoenix–Utah (UT)°45%-4%1154% $50,159 $49,408 $18,066 32%
164University of Alaska–Fairbanks (AK)*36%-17%2440% $38,200 $38,434 $8,321 57%
165St. John's College (NM)51%-8%14N/A $31,122 $26,975 $18,198 78%
166Whitman College (WA)88%-12%3511% $48,458 $53,842 $22,509 93%
167Sierra Nevada College (NV)57%7%1028% $43,806 $41,806 $29,220 53%
168Adams State University (CO)*34%-3%7440% $34,680 $38,090 $13,005 46%
169Colorado Christian University (CO)44%-8%3444% $38,865 $44,402 $22,297 66%
170University of Phoenix–Southern CA (CA)°47%-2%19654% $47,100 $52,762 $16,980 32%
171University of Alaska Southeast (AK)*29%0%738% $37,475 $44,459 $9,846 58%
172Eastern NM University–Main (NM)*43%-11%9345% $30,007 $35,811 $8,274 51%
173University of Phoenix–Colorado (CO)°38%0%2154% $47,100 $48,902 $18,250 32%
174Biola University (CA)70%-2%26421% $43,339 $49,329 $26,886 82%
175University of Providence (MT)38%-4%2539% $32,236 $35,924 $18,341 60%
176Vanguard University of Southern California (CA)58%-10%8835% $40,531 $47,301 $20,973 72%
177Grand Canyon University (AZ)33%-7%14947% $49,522 $43,473 $19,042 34%
178Seattle University (WA)79%-10%14320% $57,307 $59,149 $29,203 80%
179University of Puget Sound (WA)78%-5%9812% $52,074 $51,584 $32,414 88%
180Metropolitan State University of Denver (CO)*36%-7%17739% $40,096 $45,882 $10,454 55%
181Walla Walla University (WA)55%-7%5017% $46,893 $47,841 $20,235 75%
182Naropa University (CO)55%-6%6N/A $22,639 $32,996 $24,850 67%
183Idaho State University (ID)*45%-14%12836% $36,023 $35,758 $15,417 53%
184NM State University–Las Cruces (NM)*51%-13%40044% $34,380 $41,396 $8,290 52%
185Warner Pacific University Adult Program (OR)69%-47%544% $38,569 $42,133 $19,496 59%
186Colorado State University–Pueblo (CO)*39%-9%14841% $37,236 $44,457 $12,145 55%
187DeVry University–Phoenix (AZ)°32%3%2850% $44,100 $47,499 $27,281 42%
188Western Colorado University (CO)*46%-5%5624% $38,194 $46,711 $14,252 67%
189Colorado Mesa University (CO)*38%-10%11240% $36,417 $41,503 $15,763 57%
190DeVry University–Westminster (CO)°30%-7%450% $44,100 $45,496 $27,509 42%
191Concordia University–Irvine (CA)62%-15%5029% $45,331 $50,551 $21,244 73%
192Boise State University (ID)*43%-15%29835% $37,088 $41,159 $12,524 59%
193Dominican University of CA (CA)63%3%8231% $54,722 $60,313 $28,802 71%
194Mt. Sierra College (CA)°30%-38%1147% $42,931 $44,876 $19,422 42%
195Hawai'i Pacific University (HI)39%-9%7238% $47,029 $53,754 $25,484 70%
196Chapman University (CA)78%-3%17616% $53,338 $57,575 $31,685 70%
197Stevens-Henager College–Murray (UT)36%1%5956% $29,241 $39,760 $27,422 26%
198Western Governors University (UT)40%-20%747% $41,206 $51,310 $9,877 55%
199DeVry University–Ontario (CA)°31%-11%13650% $44,100 $51,805 $25,380 42%
200Western New Mexico University (NM)*20%-4%2745% $31,749 $39,324 $11,475 39%
201Hope International University (CA)44%-38%542% $36,434 $41,854 $20,514 62%
202Arizona Christian University (AZ)47%-38%732% $33,544 $44,741 $24,055 64%
203Academy of Art University (CA)°30%-19%8938% $38,046 $39,311 $31,647 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