2021 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 graduatesActual vs. predicted Pell enrollmentPercent of graduates above 150% of poverty lineNet price of attendance for families below $75,000 incomePercent of loan principal remaining 5 years laterPredicted principal remaining
1CA State University at Long Beach (CA)*78%-5%140315%82%738581%85%
2Touro College Los Angeles (CA)55%33%311%N/A1851370%111%
3CA State University at Los Angeles (CA)*66%-3%96214%82%289494%107%
4CA State University at Northridge (CA)*67%-10%15049%80%615590%102%
5California State Univ. at Fullerton (CA)*75%-5%125212%82%626884%85%
6University of Washington at Tacoma (WA)*77%2%909%85%662365%86%
7CA State University at Stanislaus (CA)*68%-1%39720%83%473488%102%
8CA State Poly. Univ. at Pomona (CA)*75%-4%95313%86%1060478%82%
9CA State Univ. at San Bernardino (CA)*68%-5%84815%81%6848103%108%
10Stanford University (CA)96%-4%2342%87%102148%57%
11University of California at Davis (CA)*87%-5%15879%82%1121558%74%
12CA State University at Sacramento (CA)*67%-6%83910%85%798387%90%
13CA Poly. St. U. at San Luis Obispo (CA)*83%-8%5813%90%1524650%61%
14University of Washington at Bothell (WA)*80%-1%1363%85%742565%71%
15CA State University at Chico (CA)*73%-10%5806%84%1179076%92%
16Harvey Mudd College (CA)94%4%278%90%1689721%41%
17CA State Univ. at Channel Islands (CA)*72%-4%17811%84%1302977%97%
18University of California at Irvine (CA)*88%-3%200012%80%1052366%67%
19CA State Univ. at Dominguez Hills (CA)*62%-6%39317%81%3382101%110%
20San Jose State University (CA)*72%-4%8938%87%1252275%70%
21Brigham Young University at Idaho (ID)68%-7%2204%59%531678%94%
22University of California at San Diego (CA)*89%-4%129313%82%1029559%64%
23Pomona College (CA)95%-1%668%73%738241%54%
24San Francisco State University (CA)*67%-2%8941%83%1231484%82%
25CA State University at Bakersfield (CA)*55%-4%35417%82%476698%106%
26Claremont McKenna College (CA)92%-2%361%93%1107245%52%
27CA State University at San Marcos (CA)*64%-3%4033%83%995984%95%
28CA State Univ. at Monterey Bay (CA)*65%-1%2709%82%973682%94%
29CA State Univ. at Maritime Academy (CA)*66%-16%23-5%94%1453354%74%
30University of CA at Santa Barbara (CA)*85%-4%137011%82%1180870%73%
31Arizona State at West (AZ)*66%-6%8217%84%709191%95%
32University of California at Berkeley (CA)*93%-4%9798%83%989357%58%
33University of Washington at Seattle (WA)*83%-6%10811%85%789965%68%
34University of California at Riverside (CA)*77%-1%167522%78%937478%74%
35Colorado School of Mines (CO)*76%-6%105-2%94%1909043%61%
36Western Washington University (WA)*74%-9%3812%84%1226269%74%
37University of California at Los Angeles (CA)*93%-5%156210%78%977664%64%
38University of Hawaii at West Oahu (HI)*51%23%14-12%79%944794%97%
39Oregon Institute of Technology (OR)*51%-6%58-4%93%1411976%85%
40California Institute of Technology (CA)93%2%234%85%577045%40%
41CA State University at Fresno (CA)*69%-11%9739%82%476089%99%
42Sonoma State University (CA)*68%-9%282-3%86%1380272%85%
43Univ. of California at Merced (CA)*69%-6%60822%79%1136274%89%
44CA State University at East Bay (CA)*66%-7%3519%84%971389%87%
45Central Washington University (WA)*61%-5%280-2%85%1160783%90%
46Fresno Pacific University (CA)65%4%6518%80%1571996%101%
47Arizona State at Polytechnic (AZ)*62%-1%6514%84%826091%83%
48University of California at Santa Cruz (CA)*81%-5%117610%78%1233363%70%
49Thomas Aquinas College (CA)81%3%2711%71%1801947%62%
50Washington State University (WA)*67%-12%699-5%87%1160173%85%
51Brigham Young University (UT)86%-9%41021%69%1056967%85%
52Montana State University at Northern (MT)*41%-9%100%90%1177785%96%
53University of Portland (OR)82%-3%150-2%90%2885055%62%
54University of Arizona (AZ)*62%-11%11598%85%1206681%86%
55Montana Technological University (MT)*48%-8%327%91%1218586%88%
56Trident University International (CA)°60%4%8-14%87%12692103%108%
57Occidental College (CA)85%2%956%79%1705655%53%
58University of Redlands (CA)72%2%1424%85%2288981%80%
59San Diego State University (CA)*77%-5%912-4%83%1084581%81%
60Colorado State University (CO)*69%-9%628-4%86%1373472%81%
61Eastern Washington University (WA)*58%-8%278-9%84%960387%87%
62William Jessup University (CA)70%-3%363%79%1900086%88%
63California Lutheran University (CA)71%-3%860%86%1990775%77%
64Utah State University (UT)*56%6%40110%73%1181679%95%
65Mount St. Mary's Univ., Los Angeles (CA)65%8%10516%88%2684190%86%
66NM Inst. of Mining and Tech (NM)*53%-11%425%88%1217671%77%
67Santa Clara University (CA)89%-3%139-6%89%2230959%58%
68University of Southern California (CA)92%-4%3663%82%1711861%61%
69Whitworth University (WA)74%-9%1006%83%2058272%75%
70Westminster College (UT)66%-9%667%85%1859175%79%
71Heritage University (WA)42%-22%2322%90%9678107%115%
72Saint Martin's University (WA)62%-10%435%85%1843384%91%
73Arizona State University (AZ)*64%-12%11627%84%896891%82%
74Humboldt State University (CA)*59%-11%27519%74%1255289%96%
75Westmont College (CA)76%6%53-3%86%2506560%62%
76New Mexico Highlands Univ. (NM)*39%0%52-7%83%9312106%111%
77Colorado College (CO)88%0%450%68%1088354%55%
78Gonzaga University (WA)84%-4%163-10%89%2634861%64%
79Prescott College (AZ)60%11%1019%70%1816897%92%
80Chaminade University of Honolulu (HI)40%-2%567%85%2197899%115%
81Whittier College (CA)69%4%1061%79%2083884%79%
82University of the Pacific (CA)74%1%1759%87%2295768%61%
83Adams State University (CO)*40%-6%637%88%11746103%100%
84Carroll College (MT)66%-12%42-1%86%2069772%71%
85Scripps College (CA)88%2%24-2%78%1593051%51%
86Pacific Lutheran University (WA)72%-18%1096%86%1896272%75%
87Whitman College (WA)88%-4%341%75%2374339%57%
88Arizona State. Univ. at Skysong (AZ)*53%-9%29-5%84%1187891%107%
89Point Loma Nazarene University (CA)73%-7%1105%84%2598270%75%
90University of Oregon (OR)*72%-9%634-2%81%1321979%82%
91Southern Utah University (UT)*51%-7%13013%73%1298583%93%
92Evergreen State College (WA)*68%-6%8412%66%1086290%92%
93Northern Arizona University (AZ)*59%-14%6311%86%1159190%92%
94Oregon State University (OR)*64%-14%588-2%86%1679279%85%
95Arizona State at Downtown Phoenix (AZ)*65%-15%2209%84%930291%90%
96University of Colorado at Boulder (CO)*70%-10%580-4%84%1524669%74%
97Saint MaryÕs College of California (CA)75%-3%120-5%86%2695172%69%
98Seattle Pacific University (WA)70%-12%1360%87%2402264%76%
99Linfield College (OR)71%-8%83-6%88%2257568%71%
100Western Oregon University (OR)*48%0%1794%80%1531393%92%
101Rocky Mountain College (MT)50%-11%340%89%1694581%84%
102University of Alaska Southeast (AK)*32%5%9-17%79%929795%98%
103University of San Francisco (CA)75%2%238-2%86%2572072%70%
104Holy Names University (CA)50%2%25-17%92%19295101%98%
105University of Antelope Valley (CA)°76%1%200%60%11947106%93%
106Warner Pacific University (OR)51%-8%1910%85%2113099%96%
107Humphreys Univ at Stockton/Modesto (CA)40%8%56%78%12130125%108%
108Willamette University (OR)77%-1%856%78%2394866%64%
109John Paul the Great Catholic Univ. (CA)57%-13%61%79%2363155%77%
110Fort Lewis College (CO)*47%-10%934%75%1436984%91%
111University of Nevada at Reno (NV)*57%-10%427-1%87%1257385%83%
112Walla Walla University (WA)58%-13%51-10%90%1858176%80%
113Grand Canyon University (AZ)34%-5%23015%88%19343109%116%
114Pacific Union College (CA)56%-15%42-1%85%1800790%88%
115Weber State University (UT)*42%-15%115-10%82%1100287%95%
116University of Idaho (ID)*58%-8%395-6%83%1258889%89%
117University of Northern Colorado (CO)*53%-10%329-6%86%1420182%90%
118Portland State University (OR)*53%-1%2757%79%12415100%96%
119George Fox University (OR)74%-12%113-2%84%2458469%76%
120Montana State Univ. at Billings (MT)*33%-8%43-10%87%1273494%97%
121University of Utah (UT)*68%-15%3402%83%1259185%84%
122Vanguard University of So. California (CA)63%-9%980%79%1754586%88%
123Northwest University (WA)58%-11%384%83%1996080%83%
124Northwest Nazarene University (ID)55%-14%443%84%1693287%86%
125Utah Valley University (UT)*36%-8%148-1%75%734596%99%
126University of Wyoming (WY)*59%-15%147-1%84%1041880%82%
127Univ. of Montana-Western (MT)*44%-11%28-11%82%1171193%89%
128Corban University (OR)56%-12%492%76%2118376%82%
129Seattle University (WA)78%-9%119-5%89%2897067%68%
130Regis University (CO)58%-3%87-11%90%2112088%88%
131Univ. of CO at Colorado Springs (CO)*50%-8%1630%84%1363786%90%
132University of Colorado at Denver (CO)*50%-2%167-10%85%1297992%93%
133University of Denver (CO)75%-3%150-2%85%2179275%69%
134Brigham Young University at Hawaii (HI)64%-14%25-2%61%1066374%85%
135Embry-Riddle Aero. Univ. at Prescott (AZ)63%-10%549%92%3052587%69%
136Lewis & Clark College (OR)77%-6%925%76%2243063%61%
137Lewis-Clark State College (ID)*39%-17%44-5%81%977899%92%
138University of Nevada at Las Vegas (NV)*52%-7%5011%82%971899%92%
139University of San Diego (CA)80%-3%157-9%84%2461469%68%
140CO State University at Pueblo (CO)*39%-9%1320%84%1250998%91%
141Life Pacific University (CA)51%1%1011%69%1908898%94%
142Western Colorado University (CO)*49%-9%53-8%80%1482282%84%
143Azusa Pacific University (CA)68%-3%198-4%82%2221380%82%
144Pepperdine University (CA)84%1%143-8%83%2920470%68%
145Amer. InterCont. Univ. at Online (IL)°26%-1%4221%71%12000121%127%
146Pitzer College (CA)87%-2%27-3%67%1284567%56%
147University of Hawaii at Manoa (HI)*61%-5%309-3%82%1304381%71%
148Montana State University (MT)*53%-10%306-3%86%1652378%80%
149Reed College (OR)81%-1%494%69%1710563%55%
150Alaska Pacific University (AK)36%-8%45%81%1799092%94%
151Simpson University (CA)71%-25%258%80%2227483%90%
152University of La Verne (CA)67%-2%1853%83%22344100%92%
153Providence Christian College (CA)68%10%3-51%60%1998583%98%
154Eastern Oregon University (OR)*42%-16%415%79%12779104%105%
155Woodbury University (CA)59%-12%303%86%2351196%92%
156Concordia University at Irvine (CA)62%-14%52-8%86%2193977%76%
157Southern Oregon University (OR)*46%-11%91-10%78%779298%90%
158Sierra Nevada College (NV)50%11%16-4%71%2653487%91%
159Dominican University of CA (CA)71%-7%60-3%89%2876675%61%
160California Baptist University (CA)62%-16%1959%82%2311994%87%
161Pacific University (OR)67%-12%761%85%2408872%70%
162Pacific Rim Christian Univ. (HI)52%11%1-14%64%1456092%92%
163Colorado Christian University (CO)40%-12%38-4%84%2229594%101%
164Warner Pacific Univ. Adult Program (OR)62%-30%54%85%1753199%87%
165Biola University (CA)71%-3%194-1%80%2688171%72%
166Western Governors University (UT)47%-19%813%89%8774106%81%
167Soka University of America (CA)90%-5%291%61%1025686%65%
168Metropolitan State Univ. of Denver (CO)*35%-7%169-9%82%12880104%95%
169Master's University (CA)61%-32%25-2%79%2319862%84%
170University of Puget Sound (WA)79%-9%732%79%2969960%59%
171Loyola Marymount University (CA)81%-5%189-8%83%3168170%69%
172Colorado Mesa University (CO)*36%-13%124-4%83%1466895%90%
173College of Idaho (ID)65%-9%670%78%2033280%72%
174University of Providence (MT)46%-13%22-21%83%1969495%89%
175Northwest Christian University (OR)59%-22%140%80%1748398%93%
176Nevada State College (NV)*28%-6%15-12%78%12591108%103%
177City University of Seattle (WA)46%-17%0-21%83%2056793%99%
178DigiPen Institute of Tech. (WA)°44%-13%1611%85%3434660%68%
179University of Alaska at Anchorage (AK)*31%-16%59-15%82%1203995%93%
180Arizona Christian University (AZ)42%-17%12-13%84%2171394%92%
181Eastern NM University at Main (NM)*42%-12%94-18%76%8719104%98%
182University of Hawaii at Hilo (HI)*41%-4%823%75%1307394%93%
183La Sierra University (CA)55%-1%591%76%21239102%88%
184Independence University (UT)43%-3%1826%70%27414117%116%
185University of Montana (MT)*44%-16%1916%80%1410591%88%
186Chapman University (CA)80%-2%187-7%82%3363677%65%
187Boise State University (ID)*46%-15%283-10%84%12980100%94%
188University of Phoenix at Hawaii (HI)°46%-8%10-12%76%13663119%103%
189Idaho State University (ID)*48%-13%125-2%81%15697104%99%
190Marymount California University (CA)35%13%39-4%72%2615591%89%
191University of Alaska at Fairbanks (AK)*33%-14%26-14%77%878794%99%
192University of New Mexico at Main (NM)*51%-11%538-2%78%14182105%94%
193Univ. of Phoenix at Southern CA (CA)°49%-1%118-7%76%14943119%90%
194Western New Mexico University (NM)*28%-10%30-15%79%12489111%109%
195CO Technical Univ. (CO)°24%-10%11722%73%15914117%126%
196Los Angeles Pacific University (CA)27%-8%1-5%82%19677N/A109%
197San Diego Christian College (CA)42%-2%190%66%2888893%98%
198NM State Univ. at Las Cruces (NM)*51%-13%361-2%75%7333106%95%
199Ashford University (IA)°23%1%262-1%72%19329117%111%
200National University (CA)35%-15%12-16%85%25521100%100%
201Hope International University (CA)40%-17%14-6%77%2057190%94%
202Hawai'i Pacific University (HI)35%-13%65-7%84%2634790%90%
203DeVry University at Ontario (CA)°26%-8%808%82%25623116%104%
204Cogswell Polytechnic College (CA)40%-17%84%79%2756292%85%
205University of Phoenix at Nevada (NV)°39%-11%15-3%76%14826119%103%
206Brookline Coll. at Albuquerque (NM)°61%-23%713%64%26067117%107%
207University of the Southwest (NM)28%-8%8-10%79%17736113%105%
208DeVry University at Phoenix (AZ)°25%-12%138%82%28860116%107%
209University of Phoenix at Phoenix (AZ)°28%0%2009%76%14234119%107%
210St. John's College (NM)45%-5%1417%62%2737372%73%
211DeVry University at Westminster (CO)°26%-16%26%82%31260116%105%
212Aspen University (CO)°29%-33%0-28%88%14492106%96%
213Naropa University (CO)57%-14%417%51%2486894%93%
214Stevens-Henager College at Murray (UT)21%-1%589%70%28303117%104%
215Academy of Art University (CA)°27%-21%554%70%31595105%104%
Definitions:
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.
* = public
° = for-profit