San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Ask an Aztec: Students reflect on college rankings

San Diego State University has a reputation for being one of the “best” public schools, but do students care?
Theresa Schroeder
Students from San Diego State University pose for headshots across campus on Feb. 12, 2024.

In September 2023, San Diego State University was recognized as being one of the top schools in California and the United States. 

Forbes listed SDSU at No. 16 in the Top 25 Public Colleges in the U.S. and No. 43 for America’s Top Colleges List, where SDSU was previously ranked at No. 63. U.S. News placed SDSU at No. 51 for Top Public Schools and No. 105 in National Universities — up 46 spots from 2022.

With high school seniors receiving early and regular admissions decisions, current SDSU students reflect upon rankings of the school and if it resembles qualities of a “top” school.


Luna Porciatti, a first-year hospitality management major:

“I would say it matters to me. When I was looking for schools, definitely. I think that the classes challenge the students pretty well. I’ve been learning more since I’ve been here, more than I did in high school — which is the goal.”


Adam Snyder, a fourth-year civil engineering major:

 “I don’t think rankings matter too much. It’s more about the connections you make with your professors and people in the industry. It’s been good here, I’ve made good connections in the industry.”


Lila Garcia, a first-year business and professional sales major:

“I do care about the rankings of SDSU just because that’s something that employers are going to be looking at. And it’s also a validation that you’re going to be getting solid professors here, and people who will lift you up and encourage you to do well in academics.”


Georgia Cilley, a third-year public health major:

 “Totally, it makes me feel proud that I go here. I started in the fall of 2020 when COVID was happening and did not enjoy it… so I took a leave of absence and went home for a semester. Then I came back when things were starting to go back to normal and had a much better college experience.”


Heider Valdivia, a third-year television, film and new media major with an emphasis in critical studies:

“No, not really. I’m just here to go to class, get an education and go about my business.”


Devyani Pathak, a first-year kinesiology major:

 “Not really. I think the kinesiology program here is really good, (for) when I was making my choice for (a) school that was important to me. But as a whole, it wasn’t really important to me. I actually didn’t know we were a top school.”


Interviews conducted by Cindy Avila with photography by Theresa Schroeder.