FRESNO, Calif. - Washington Monthly ranked Fresno State 17th, a notch behind Columbia but ahead of Florida and UC Irvine; schools were scored on three factors.
Fresno State President Joe Castro said, "Social mobility, research, and service, and according to Washington Monthly we are among the 20 best universities in our nation."
Seventy two-percent of Fresno State students are among the first generation in their families to attend college. Affordability, access to grants, and scholarships all raised the school's profile.
"About 80-percent of our students receive some type of financial aid. But we also have a food pantry, a clothing closet, Provost Grants to pay for summer school," said University Provost Lynnette Zelezny.
The high ranking may catch the eye of more high school seniors who will soon be making their college choices.
ASI President Blake Zante said, "It not only raises the academic profile of our university, but also displays Fresno State's commitment to excellence."
The announcement drew several local, state, and federal leaders to the Jordan Agricultural Research Center-- the newest building on campus.
"We have one thing left to do and it's gonna get done this year, and that is the Fresno State Bulldog football team is coming back," said Rep. Devin Nunes, (R) Tulare.
President Castro added the school's rising academic distinction is a reminder talent is everywhere.