Money Magazine Ranks Saint Mary’s as One of the Best Colleges in the Country

For quality, affordability, and student outcomes, SMC earns high marks in the West—and nationally.

by SMC Marketing and Communications Staff | June 27, 2023

Saint Mary’s College of California is one of the best colleges in the country, according to Money magazine’s new rankings. In “The Best Colleges in America 2023” the magazine gives Saint Mary’s 4.5 out of 5 stars for quality, affordability, and student outcomes.

Money’s latest Best Colleges is the result of analysis of more than 700 four-year colleges, taking into account 26 data points. The results were released on June 19.

As the magazine notes, Saint Mary’s, founded 160 years ago and nestled in the hills of the San Francisco Bay Area, has earned a reputation as one of highest-rated colleges in the West. The rankings highlight more than 75 academic majors and the way that SMC’s Collegiate Seminar provides “the beating heart of the school’s educational ethos.”

And Saint Mary’s students would echo this highlight by the magazine: “Also integral to its curriculum is the ‘Jan Term’ each year, a month-long, in-depth study of an array of engaging, fun subjects ranging from meditation to J.R.R. Tolkien. Studies aren’t limited to the campus, either. Jan Term classes are also available online or overseas.”

The rankings laud Saint Mary’s student-faculty ratio of 9:1, and the fact that more than 90 percent of students receive financial aid.

Saint Mary's student raising diploma to celebrate at commencement 2023


To assemble their rankings, Money looked at quality of education, which was calculated using factors including graduation rates, instructor access, and outcomes for lower-income students; net price of a degree; and outcomes, including expected earnings 10 years after college entry, return on investment, and the economic mobility the college provides low-income students.


READ MORE: Saint Mary’s ranked No. 4 in the West by U.S. News and featured in the Princeton Review

Here’s what Money Magazine has to say about Saint Mary’s


LEARN MORE: Get in touch with a member of the Saint Mary’s admissions team