Howard Gillman

Howard Gillman

The University of California at Irvine ranked No. 1 on Money magazine’s 2019-20 list of the nation’s “Best Colleges.”

UCI, which ranked No. 3 a year ago, knocked Princeton University off the top spot; it’s the first time that a public university took the top spot on this list.

UCI scored well across the board, especially in the measures of low-income and Pell Grant enrollment and favorable graduate outcomes, the online publication said.

“This latest recognition of our national leadership in combining outstanding academics with outstanding value is a testament to the concerted efforts of our faculty, staff, students and supporters,” Chancellor Howard Gillman said in a statement.

UCI graduates’ median debt load was $19,000 and their early-career earnings averaged $57,700 per year, the survey said.

The magazine used 26 factors across three categories – quality, affordability and outcomes – each of which accounts for one-third of a school’s final score.