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Buffalo State Ranks High in ‘Best Bang for the Buck’ List


Buffalo State has long prided itself on providing an affordable quality education and a path to social mobility for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The college’s mission is reflected in a 2022 ranking by Washington Monthly magazine’s Best Bang for the Buck, which recognizes U.S. colleges and universities that offer the most valuable and economically friendly degree programs. The list is divided into five regional categories.

Buffalo State ranked 27th out of 350 four-year colleges and universities in the Northeast region, making it both the highest-ranked college in Western New York and in the State University of New York (SUNY) system. Buffalo State jumped 30 spots up the list from 2020.

The rankings are based on factors such as graduation rates, number of Pell grant graduates, and the net price of attendance for students whose families earn less than $75,000 annually.

Buffalo State also performed well in Washington Monthly’s 2022 Master’s University Rankings, placing the college in the 33rd spot out of 603 institutions. For this category, the magazine ranks liberal arts colleges—four-year institutions that award almost exclusively bachelor’s degrees and that focus on arts and sciences rather than professional programs—based on their contribution to the public good in three broad categories: social mobility, research, and promoting public service.

“I’m thrilled but not surprised to see Buffalo State rank so high on a list of schools that keep affordability, value, and contributions to the public good top of mind,” said Buffalo State President Katherine Conway-Turner. “Throughout its history, Buffalo State has provided a stepping stone to social mobility for generations of students regardless of their background or socioeconomic status.

“Our dedicated faculty and staff members continue to go above and beyond to help our students achieve their dreams through one-on-one attention, hands-on projects, and the opportunity to conduct undergraduate research. And our growing number of service-learning courses enable Buffalo State students to improve the lives of individuals in the larger community.”

The Washington Monthly rankings follow a 2021 ranking from CollegeNET released in December in which Buffalo State placed among the top 50 institutions nationally on the organization’s Social Mobility Index (SMI). Buffalo State ranked 34th out of 1,550 benchmarked colleges and universities.

The SMI, now in its ninth year, measures the extent to which four-year colleges and universities educate economically disadvantaged students (those with family incomes below the national median) at low tuition and graduate them into well-paying jobs. Buffalo State ranked highest among schools within SUNY and among four-year institutions in Western New York.

“In this time of growing inflation, an affordable and high-quality college education is more important than ever,” Conway-Turner said. “Financial hardship should never prevent hardworking students from pursuing their goals.”