2020 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 earnings 10 years after entering collegePredicted median earnings 10 yrs after entering collegeNet price of attendance for families below $75,000 income% repaying $1 in loan principal 5 yrs after leaving coll.
1CA State University–Stanislaus (CA)*68%0%39057%4512839031498269%
2University of Washington–Tacoma (WA)*77%3%7632%5655346551583981%
3CA State University–Los Angeles (CA)*63%-2%90660%4539542201322361%
4Stanford University (CA)96%-3%24627%9039775018187590%
5CA State Univ.–San Bernardino (CA)*66%-4%83659%4558539267648653%
6CA State University–Northridge (CA)*66%-10%136752%4488742738555465%
7Utah State University (UT)*58%14%47228%43501326401193679%
8Brigham Young University (UT)94%-10%44212%59116443661065885%
9CA State University–Bakersfield (CA)*54%-4%34357%4795837676503457%
10CA State University–Long Beach (CA)*77%-6%135647%4822950431745075%
11CA State University–Sacramento (CA)*65%-5%76847%4839144596761470%
12Brigham Young University–Idaho (ID)65%-7%20723%4130241418620179%
13University of California–Davis (CA)*86%-4%159639%58168565691128183%
14CA State Univ.–Dominguez Hills (CA)*58%-6%35757%4451441221303653%
15Touro College Los Angeles (CA)53%50%341%N/A4166117681N/A
16California State Univ.–Fullerton (CA)*72%-5%117247%4652251947628073%
17CA State University–Chico (CA)*71%-9%57544%46989438471142172%
18University of California–Irvine (CA)*88%-4%193844%57166603961047778%
19CA State Univ.–Channel Islands (CA)*72%-5%16248%N/A435531329971%
20Claremont McKenna College (CA)92%1%30N/A729136033612575N/A
21CA State Univ.–Maritime Academy (CA)*62%-14%2422%82123609561339383%
22CA State Poly. Univ.–Pomona (CA)*74%-4%91547%53017576681053976%
23CA State University–Fresno (CA)*68%-11%93651%4458538233487667%
24Providence Christian College (CA)73%29%3N/AN/A2855621555N/A
25Evergreen State College (WA)*68%-4%8930%34144269431053666%
26University of Washington–Bothell (WA)*80%1%12932%5655357353687781%
27University of California–Los Angeles (CA)*93%-5%154936%6093063087958681%
28Univ. of California–Merced (CA)*69%-6%55854%N/A474271106367%
29University of California–San Diego (CA)*88%-3%122438%60421659981012385%
30University of Hawaii–West Oahu (HI)*51%37%1443%4003946491805063%
31CA State Univ.–Monterey Bay (CA)*60%-1%26247%4330642932926071%
32University of CA–Santa Barbara (CA)*84%-4%139741%54170585551161776%
33CA Poly. St. U.–San Luis Obispo (CA)*80%-9%53725%65260597431449688%
34CA State University–San Marcos (CA)*63%-3%34346%4689945740868967%
35Fresno Pacific University (CA)67%7%6746%41868403321599161%
36University of California–Riverside (CA)*75%-1%164245%4907353448946869%
37Harvey Mudd College (CA)92%1%27N/A782186627817809N/A
38Washington State University (WA)*69%-10%72034%49921430681172879%
39Central Washington University (WA)*62%-5%27639%46251434791115970%
40Arizona State–West (AZ)*69%-8%9337%N/A41704703363%
41University of California–Berkeley (CA)*93%3%97234%63737692591005579%
42Pomona College (CA)95%0%6526%56501608866376N/A
43University of Washington–Seattle (WA)*84%-6%106032%5655360442740481%
44Arizona State–Polytechnic (AZ)*67%-3%7437%N/A49105902263%
45Utah Valley University (UT)*38%-7%17427%4432135636710368%
46Oregon Institute of Technology (OR)*54%0%6739%54948552761478776%
47Western Washington University (WA)*74%-6%38527%45535452091207377%
48University of Southern California (CA)92%-2%30923%72163677911761685%
49CA State University–East Bay (CA)*63%-6%33149%5221952456957665%
50Thomas Aquinas College (CA)78%1%25N/A38184331781749290%
51Trident University International (CA)°69%-2%652%N/A590881298652%
52San Jose State University (CA)*70%-5%85447%55644617351231277%
53Southern Utah University (UT)*53%-8%11932%39581371601284374%
54University of the Pacific (CA)74%4%16834%71195579702371476%
55Mills College (CA)73%8%4731%40336406401997071%
56Sonoma State University (CA)*67%-10%26240%47151458541347771%
57University of Redlands (CA)72%3%14434%53969531572364877%
58University of Utah (UT)*71%-13%34928%52233488021205878%
59Saint Martin's University (WA)62%-10%4934%46927447921782275%
60Eastern Washington University (WA)*58%-7%27936%4308542517979071%
61Heritage University (WA)45%-18%2264%3373831969961451%
62San Francisco State University (CA)*65%-3%87246%49145552991180166%
63Western Oregon University (OR)*48%-1%19341%39449364861385763%
64Portland State University (OR)*55%-1%25739%44137427341322164%
65Eastern Oregon University (OR)*43%-14%4645%39906332331274759%
66Arizona State University (AZ)*66%-12%124837%4703047557888863%
67Colorado School of Mines (CO)*76%-7%10517%82561742351889789%
68William Jessup University (CA)69%-3%3233%37830403781884973%
69University of Arizona (AZ)*62%-9%127431%46651462071295972%
70Soka University of America (CA)85%-8%31N/AN/A33192955979%
71California Institute of Technology (CA)93%-1%24N/A80931910655622N/A
72New Mexico Highlands Univ. (NM)*38%1%5745%3645333621882551%
73Willamette University (OR)79%-1%8318%50883459102305288%
74University of California–Santa Cruz (CA)*81%-5%125236%45455601181218577%
75San Diego State University (CA)*75%-6%85640%49917547061088070%
76University of Wyoming (WY)*59%-13%14928%47517424131069479%
77Humboldt State University (CA)*56%-12%24843%35899379031217062%
78Mount St. Mary's Univ., Los Angeles (CA)67%7%9749%52987515712683867%
79California Lutheran University (CA)70%-2%8532%53767522672235578%
80Linfield College (OR)69%-8%8529%54381454262279484%
81Southern Oregon University (OR)*46%-10%9340%3845435311711160%
82Weber State University (UT)*44%-17%10337%44241411511043573%
83Montana State University–Northern (MT)*37%-14%937%35925348871157870%
84Brigham Young University–Hawaii (HI)64%-15%2319%42447410931026276%
85Warner Pacific University (OR)54%-9%1845%38153339612139459%
86University of Oregon (OR)*71%-9%63127%44133434631296669%
87University of Portland (OR)82%-2%15419%57568564192731590%
88Arizona State–Downtown Phoenix (AZ)*64%-15%23537%N/A43372932363%
89Azusa Pacific University (CA)69%-1%20436%51603493522264475%
90University of Colorado–Denver (CO)*51%-3%15236%57029522721291569%
91University of Idaho (ID)*58%-7%40631%41722400521289270%
92Westminster College (UT)65%-9%7127%48999486511968579%
93Chaminade University of Honolulu (HI)39%-4%5641%39389381681916258%
94University of Nevada–Reno (NV)*60%-10%41138%46626484111244273%
95NM Inst. of Mining and Tech (NM)*51%-8%4528%53547543981158183%
96Pacific Lutheran University (WA)71%-18%10928%48832472531903582%
97Whittier College (CA)67%0%9934%45564492182101578%
98Univ. of Montana-Western (MT)*45%-9%3135%30706311581029466%
99University of Phoenix–Phoenix (AZ)°28%0%12654%N/A357681593232%
100Santa Clara University (CA)87%-3%13717%71389710952150489%
101University of La Verne (CA)67%-1%18648%50493519812016658%
102University of Northern Colorado (CO)*53%-11%32435%41240359771592973%
103Occidental College (CA)85%0%9117%50643569141662491%
104Embry-Riddle Aero. Univ.–Prescott (AZ)62%-12%4435%64684575772947974%
105Colorado State University (CO)*67%-9%65424%46485488801370275%
106Westmont College (CA)77%7%5817%50149502952505789%
107Prescott College (AZ)53%-2%1125%33704324581868962%
108University of Nevada–Las Vegas (NV)*51%-6%44942%4458243945950459%
109University of San Francisco (CA)73%3%23928%62115616392336676%
110Pacific Rim Christian Univ. (HI)76%0%1N/A28098285281650558%
111Nevada State College (NV)*29%-4%1548%N/A361571223253%
112Pepperdine University (CA)84%-1%14419%63209576372765480%
113Fort Lewis College (CO)*47%-10%9131%35227347021454962%
114Whitworth University (WA)74%-7%9223%42275447132117577%
115Oregon State University (OR)*65%-13%59431%48487516151715774%
116University of the West (CA)52%-10%3N/AN/A3590210375N/A
117Alaska Pacific University (AK)44%-11%4N/A43008421521674866%
118Point Loma Nazarene University (CA)73%-9%10927%50469531982554885%
119Colorado College (CO)87%-2%4315%4319655110734889%
120Northern Arizona University (AZ)*58%-15%57938%40335395981239159%
121CO Technical Univ. (CO)°29%-9%12055%48159391411707133%
122Life Pacific University (CA)54%-7%1036%30749354851842466%
123Seattle Pacific University (WA)72%-12%13624%48076478652483787%
124Humphreys Univ–Stockton/Modesto (CA)44%-15%656%28975279381183031%
125Northwest Christian University (OR)60%-31%1038%43848387631751067%
126Holy Names University (CA)40%8%3046%50805469661920955%
127University of Hawaii–Hilo (HI)*42%-4%7538%36021366921235165%
128Lewis & Clark College (OR)77%0%10616%44528490092171089%
129Warner Pacific Univ. Adult Program (OR)60%-30%545%38153359661798059%
130Saint Mary’s College of California (CA)72%0%12426%58331573492714378%
131Lewis-Clark State College (ID)*38%-16%4541%3461339039995362%
132Scripps College (CA)88%7%27N/A51566579341636191%
133John Paul the Great Catholic Univ. (CA)61%-16%5N/AN/A3761722850N/A
134Carroll College (MT)64%-12%4820%45921488622168887%
135Corban University (OR)61%-14%5224%37159394861980675%
136University of Hawaii–Manoa (HI)*62%-4%31134%45054528561265176%
137Montana Technological University (MT)*49%-11%3133%42002478111185365%
138University of Phoenix–Hawaii (HI)°41%-8%1254%49935488461513332%
139Northwest University (WA)56%-9%4036%39942451851974076%
140Gonzaga University (WA)83%-6%15714%55538561322655489%
141Sanford National University (CA)38%-20%1144%59180471532451659%
142La Sierra University (CA)57%-2%4939%46070466032055966%
143Sierra Nevada College (NV)47%20%1928%44507423942608953%
144Whitman College (WA)88%-4%3211%48188525232175193%
145Northwest Nazarene University (ID)49%-14%4632%38001402431633476%
146Univ. of CO–Colorado Springs (CO)*51%-7%15331%42736474581355370%
147DigiPen Institute of Tech. (WA)°47%-14%1520%82006676793466187%
148Johnson & Wales Univ.–Denver (CO)56%-19%4634%37662375732170768%
149University of San Diego (CA)79%-2%14324%59964642132522382%
150Pitzer College (CA)87%-1%2720%47943556791243277%
151Pacific Union College (CA)53%-14%4126%50208465491905669%
152University of Colorado–Boulder (CO)*70%-11%56620%49886555071609077%
153Montana State Univ.–Billings (MT)*33%-8%4639%34648362231274864%
154Rocky Mountain College (MT)47%-8%3829%39219425071698277%
155University of Denver (CO)75%-3%14519%55118602252132479%
156University of Alaska Southeast (AK)*31%-1%939%3752643529861658%
157University of Montana (MT)*46%-14%21430%35567341951371266%
158University of Alaska–Fairbanks (AK)*35%-13%2740%3811238597901457%
159Loyola Marymount University (CA)81%-6%18621%58232594513062984%
160University of Antelope Valley (CA)°80%-12%2854%23612378431488824%
161University of New Mexico–Main (NM)*53%-9%52741%36144404811369658%
162California Baptist University (CA)63%-18%17841%42062437272468764%
163Woodbury University (CA)58%-14%3438%47748466482589866%
164George Fox University (OR)71%-13%10128%44267479842407179%
165Grand Canyon University (AZ)32%-3%19347%49784433341943034%
166Adams State University (CO)*37%-5%6340%34776378301193646%
167University of Alaska–Anchorage (AK)*33%-14%6039%44645450511194863%
168Biola University (CA)71%1%21222%43583489052679182%
169Montana State University (MT)*52%-11%30924%41917466641586979%
170Ashford University (IA)°27%1%30754%41247396111864231%
171St. John's College (NM)48%2%16N/A30939269192369678%
172Simpson University (CA)68%-15%3838%34343426132168468%
173College of Idaho (ID)62%-9%6729%39920450971985879%
174San Diego Christian College (CA)47%-8%1839%35897394422834167%
175Regis University (CO)56%-5%9437%53952570562070666%
176Independence University (UT)52%0%956%28935322752741226%
177Colorado Christian University (CO)44%-13%3344%38486432262193666%
178Vanguard University of So. California (CA)60%-9%10235%39563472172010172%
179University of the Southwest (NM)29%-7%846%39246381531739454%
180Cogswell Polytechnic College (CA)45%-16%630%53504543402483278%
181University of Providence (MT)43%-7%2840%32500374611877760%
182Master's University (CA)64%-26%3122%40352434982233283%
183Pacific University (OR)65%-12%7131%44389509622495382%
184Eastern NM University–Main (NM)*42%-12%9945%2999136398858451%
185Seattle University (WA)79%-10%11520%57120591582908380%
186Univ. of Phoenix–Southern CA (CA)°47%-1%14654%N/A518941631832%
187University of Puget Sound (WA)78%-7%8512%51416507883122288%
188University of Phoenix–Nevada (NV)°39%-7%2154%N/A435061598732%
189Reed College (OR)81%-6%44N/A39204504941719788%
190Western Colorado University (CO)*47%-5%5724%37801454231466567%
191NM State Univ.–Las Cruces (NM)*51%-12%37644%3430441476764552%
192CO State University–Pueblo (CO)*38%-10%13941%37094440591222655%
193Metropolitan State Univ. of Denver (CO)*35%-9%16340%39818453421267455%
194Idaho State University (ID)*45%-16%12736%35808361991557553%
195Marymount California University (CA)37%6%4042%36769410992364357%
196Naropa University (CO)57%-22%4N/A22386314202469167%
197Concordia University–Irvine (CA)61%-14%4729%45319511762139573%
198Boise State University (ID)*44%-15%28734%37029417421271059%
199Colorado Mesa University (CO)*37%-13%12540%36343420291641657%
200DeVry University–Westminster (CO)°27%1%450%N/A471032962542%
201Walla Walla University (WA)56%-18%4817%45952478381926475%
202Stevens-Henager College (UT)30%-6%1356%28935298782537726%
203DeVry University–Phoenix (AZ)°30%-10%1250%N/A488412864742%
204Arizona Christian University (AZ)43%-21%1134%33815429482199264%
205Chapman University (CA)79%0%19017%53248578353375370%
206DeVry University–Ontario (CA)°28%-10%9150%N/A543282587242%
207Western Governors University (UT)43%-25%547%40695501451020155%
208Brookline Coll.–Albuquerque (NM)°56%-17%856%22471317642492116%
209Aspen University (CO)°35%-33%047%N/A4360014492N/A
210Western New Mexico University (NM)*28%-8%3046%31595389701203639%
211Hawai'i Pacific University (HI)37%-13%6338%46656522782653970%
212Dominican University of CA (CA)67%-6%6231%54170616372875271%
213Hope International University (CA)43%-26%1041%36491425972047962%
214Stevens-Henager College–Murray (UT)27%0%7256%28935387782792426%
215Academy of Art University (CA)°28%-20%6039%38213415103149240%
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