One of the nation's most competitive universities - tied for 39th place with UC Berkeley in a new ranking, and tougher to get into than Tufts - is an unlikely campus in that cutthroat category: Cal State East Bay.
The humble Hayward campus is part of California State University, which admits all students who complete high school requirements with at least a C average and live within the school's attendance area.
So why does it rank high in a new list of the nation's 100 most competitive colleges from U.S. News & World Report? The ranking notes that Cal State East Bay admitted just 22 percent of applicants for fall 2010 - the same as UC Berkeley, and a lower rate than UCLA (23 percent) and Tufts (24 percent), among others.
"How interesting!" said a laughing Greg Smith, associate vice president for enrollment at Cal State East Bay.