Fresno State ranks 36th among top universities in western U.S.

The Fresno BeeSeptember 10, 2013 

Students walk around the fountain on the first day of classes Thursday, August 22, 2013. Because classes started on a lower impact day, traffic and student population on campus was not as heavy as it would be on a Monday.

CRAIG KOHLRUSS — THE FRESNO BEE Buy Photo

Fresno State has been named the 36th best university in the West in U.S. News and World Report's newest ranking of the nation's top colleges.

That's two spots up from its rank last year on the list that includes schools in California and other western states: Colorado, Wyoming, Alaska, Oregon, Hawaii, Washington, Montana, Idaho, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Nevada.

Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas topped the list, with Santa Clara University and Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles coming in second and third, respectively.

Mills College in Oakland, Chapman University in Orange and California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo also made the top 10.

Among the west's top public schools, California State University, Fresno ranked No. 8.

In a statement, Fresno State President Joseph Castro said the recent ranking is "a strong indicator that the efforts of our faculty and staff are paying off."

The rankings are based on several factors, including freshman retention rate, class size and graduation rates. The ratings of regional universities includes schools that offer undergraduate and master's degrees, but includes few schools with doctoral programs.

Reach the reporter at (559) 441-6412 or hfurfaro@fresnobee.com.

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