FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --Fresno State leaders and students are celebrating a big accomplishment Monday, the school ranked 25th on a list of the 30 top universities in the country.
Fresno State is the only campus of the Cal State universities to make the prestigious list. The ranking system takes into account how many low-income students are graduating and the ways they are giving back to the community.
Fresno State is reaching success in a way the university has never seen before. Seven Ivy League schools are also among the list of the best in the United States and the Bulldogs are right up there with schools like UCLA, Georgetown and MIT.
"We're not stopping here," Fresno State president Joseph Castro said. "We're aiming higher so that our students can richly impact lives in the Central Valley and beyond."
The national rankings, released Monday by Washington D.C.-based magazine Washington Monthly considered many factors. They include those from first-generation families who are graduating from college - students like Fresno State senior Elder Morales.
"It's very important to me because I want to help out my parents since they did migrate to California to give me a better future for myself," he said. "So, I want to give that back to them to help them out."
Castro said strides in research also puts Fresno State in a category of elite universities. The work being done at the Jordan Ag Research Center is a prime example.
"This is natural for a region like ours that has historically produced trailblazers," Castro said. "Because we've supported the freedom and courage to search for answers that can advance others."
In addition, the cost to attend Fresno State has also made it among the most cost effective on the list. It's about $6,000 a year compared to about $45,000 a year at Stanford.
Castro is ecstatic to see the university finally recognized for its academic success in addition to longtime athletic achievements.