Based on past surveys, the university's grade in the new report from Schools.com qualifies as a surprise. Note that CSU finished sixth on a 2014 Forbes roster, scored fourth in a 2016 U.S. News & World Report study, and was judged third for value by SmartAsset that same year.
But CSU spokesman Mike Hooker doesn't seem caught off-guard.
"It’s always nice to be recognized," Hooker notes via email, adding, "We certainly agree that Colorado State University is one the best four-year colleges in Colorado — and we also know that the best measures of our quality are the experience our students have when they’re here and the success they find after they graduate from CSU."
At the same time, Hooker acknowledges the limitations of inquiries like this one, albeit in a way that allows him to tout other aspects of his university.
In his words, "The various rankings that are out there can’t fully capture CSU’s unique quality as a place where so many students find their passion, earn a degree and then head into the workforce with an employment rate 10 percent higher than the national average, with more than 90 percent of grads saying they’d choose CSU again."
Schools.com came to its conclusion via a system that assigned points to tuition rates, the average number of grants awarded, the percentage of students who qualify for financial aid and more. The complete methodology is included below following the list of the schools that landed in the top ten, with the CSU entry highlighted by text from the site about why it triumphed.
Count them down below