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Undergraduate Colleges and Universities

Saludos Hispanos College Survey

Looking for an undergraduate college or university that has high academic marks, is affordable and comfortable with a sizable Hispanic population, costs less than you think, and has a good, well-deserved reputation?

Saludos Hispanos researched this country's top schools, looking for high marks in academics, affordability and a Hispanic student body of 7 percent or more. We used available information and schools themselves.

1. University of California, Berkeley

UC Berkeley is well-known for its high academic standards and campus diversity, with no racial or ethnic group making a majority. It is the top- ranked school by U.S. News & World Report. Berkeley faculty includes eight Nobel Laureates, a Poet Laureate emeritus and 132 Guggenheim Fellows. Hispanics make up over 10 percent of the undergraduate population. It is one of twenty top schools for Hispanics, according to criteria developed by Saludos Hispanos. Hispanic Magazine/Chevrolet guide to top schools ranks it sixteenth. Tuition is under $5,000 for a state resident, making it a bargain for Californians, but jumps to under $15,000 for non-residents.


Only one school made everyone's list, given our criteria, and that's the University of Texas at Austin. Over 10 percent of the student population is Hispanic. Tuition and fees are reasonable: A great deal for one of this country's top-rated universities. 

3. University of California, Los Angeles

Like Berkeley, UCLA is among the leaders of top affordable schools for Hispanics. UCLA's faculty includes three Nobel Laureates and more than 300 Fulbright Scholarship winners. In the past ten years, more than 260 UCLA scholars have been awarded Guggenheim Fellowships. 

4. University of California, San Diego

MEMEX also has UCSD on its list, and the school weighs in on U.S. News & World Report's list at sixteenth among national universities with an overall score of 81. It's faculty boasts six Nobel Laureates. 

5. California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obisbo

A great western University, reasonable tuition for instate and out of state residents. High percentage of minority students. 

6. University of California, Irvine

UC Irvine rates high among national universities. It has a diverse student population with over 10% Hispanic.In 1995 UCI became the first public university whose faculty won two Nobel Prizes in two different fields in the same year: Dr. Frederick Reines in physics and Dr. Sherwood Rowland in chemistry. In state and out of state tuition is reasonable.

7. University of California, Davis

UC Davis shares a high ranking with UC Irvine, and makes our list with over 10 percent Hispanic. Of all incoming freshmen, 95 percent rank in the top 10 percent of their high school classes. Reasonable in and out of state tuition. 

8. University of California, Santa Barbara

UCSB is among the top national universities attended by Hispanic students. Its faculty includes fellows of the National Endowment for the Humanities, recipients of the National Medal of Science, and members of the National Academy of Arts and Sciences, National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering. Reasonable tuition in and out of state. Over 10 per cent Hispanic. 

9. California State University, Humboldt

Humboldt State in the first tier of Western universities in Saludos Hispanos survey. Approximately 8% Hispanic. Reasonable tuition in and out of state. Humboldt students record the highest passing scores among the 22-campus Cal State University system on the CBEST (the California Basic Educational Skills Test). The CBEST measures reading, mathematics skills and expository writing and is required of new teachers, administrators, counselors, psychologists and librarians.

10. California State University, Fresno

CSU Fresno leads our top fifteen list in this category: Over 30% of the undergraduates are Hispanic. It is ranked in the first tier of Western Universities by U.S. News & World Report with a reputation score of 2.4. Reasonable tuition in and out of state.

11. University of Florida

Saludos Hispanos includes this institution on its list, while U.S. News & World Report ranks it in the second tier with a reputation score of 3.0 out of 4.0. Over 10 percent of the undergraduates are Hispanic. Reasonable tuition in and out of state.

12. Texas A&M University, College Station

Texas A&M's faculty boasts two Nobel Prize recipients and a National Medal of Science winner, six members of the National Academy of Sciences and thirteen members of the National Academy of Engineering. Reasonable tuition in and out of state. Approximately ten percent are Hispanic.

13. California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Cal Poly Pomona has a large Hispanic representation of over 20 percent undergraduate students. U.S. News & World Report places Cal Poly Pomona in tier two of Western Universities, with a reputation score of 2.9 out of 4.0. Reasonable tuition in and out of state.

14. University of Arizona

Over  12 percent of the undergraduates are Hispanic. Reasonable tuition in and out of state. It as the number-one institution for hydro enologists. The U of Arizona, however, makes Princeton Review's list of "Long Lines and Red Tape" as sixth worst. 

15. New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

This specialty school is not ranked by U.S. News & World Report, except it is listed as fourth best in the nation for hydro enologists. Enrollment is over 19 percent Hispanic. Reasonable tuition in and out of state. Many of New Mexico Tech's research organizations are world leaders in their fields, most notably Langmuir Laboratory for Atmospheric Research, Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center, Petroleum Recovery Research Center, and New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources.

A number of other schools fall under our criteria for affordability, Hispanic representation and positive academic reputation. They are, by state and alphabetically:

Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University; California State Universities at Chico, Sacramento, Sonoma, Stanislaus and Bakersfield, University of California, Riverside and Santa Cruz; Adams State College, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and Denver; Florida Atlantic University, University of South Florida; Kean College of New Jersey; University of New Mexico, College of the Southwest [no known Web site; school is in Hobbs, NM], Eastern New Mexico University; CUNY at City College, Hunter College, Baruch College and Lehman College; Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi, Angelo State University, Southwest Texas State University, Texas Tech University, Texas Woman's University, University of Houston, and West Texas A&M University.

Editor's Note: U.S. News & World Report lists some universities as tied for first, then others as tied for third, etc. Saludos Hispanos has renumbered such rankings so no place is skipped, and thus Duke and Yale are tied for second, and so on.

U.S. News & World Report ranks the top 25, then tier one or 26th through 50th, tier two, tier three and tier four schools.

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