Latest edition places an emphasis on outcomes measures for graduating college students.
WASHINGTON, Sept. 18, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — U.S. News & World Report, the global authority in education rankings, today announced the 2024 Best Colleges. Serving as a guide for prospective students and their families, the rankings evaluate 1,500 colleges and universities using up to 19 measures of academic quality. This year’s rankings placed a greater emphasis on social mobility and outcomes for graduating college students, demonstrating the most significant methodological change in the rankings’ history.
More than 50% of an institution’s rank now comprises varying outcome measures related to success in enrolling and graduating students from all backgrounds with manageable debt and post-graduate success. In addition, five factors were removed: class size, faculty with terminal degrees, alumni giving, high school class standing and the proportion of graduates who borrow federal loans.
“For 40 years, students and their families have come to count on Best Colleges as a vital resource as they navigate one of the most important decisions of their lives,” says Eric Gertler, executive chairman and CEO of U.S. News. “The significant changes in this year’s methodology are part of the ongoing evolution to make sure our rankings capture what is most important for students as they compare colleges and select the school that is right for them.”
With these outcomes-focused methodology adjustments, the following schools saw significant increases in their rank:
- Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (NC) +106
- University of Texas at San Antonio (TX) +92
- California State University, East Bay +88
- Florida Gulf Coast University +80
- University of Texas Rio Grande Valley +72
- Gwynedd Mercy University (PA) +71
- University of Nevada, Reno +68
- Northern Arizona University +68
- The University of Texas at El Paso +68
- California State University, Fresno +65
- The University of Texas at Arlington +63
- Northern Illinois University +62
- Aurora University (IL) +62
- Texas Woman’s University +62
- San Francisco State University (CA) +56
- Florida Atlantic University +54
- Augusta University (GA) +52
- University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh (WI) +52
- Texas State University +51
- University of Houston, Clear Lake +51
For the first time, Best Colleges includes undergraduate economics degree and psychology degree rankings. This edition of the rankings also includes specialized rankings, such as the most innovative colleges and universities with the greatest commitment to undergraduate teaching.
The 2024 Best Colleges methodology is calculated using 19 key measures of academic quality for National Universities and 13 indicators for the National Liberal Arts Colleges, Regional Universities and Regional Colleges. The formula uses data universally reported by schools or obtainable from third-party sources. As always, schools’ eligibility to be ranked is not contingent on participation in U.S. News’ surveys.
2024 Best National Universities – Top 3
1. Princeton University (NJ)
2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
3. Harvard University (MA) (tie)
3. Stanford University (CA) (tie)
2024 Best National Liberal Arts Colleges – Top 3
1. Williams College (MA)
2. Amherst College (MA)
3. United States Naval Academy (MD)
2024 Top Public Schools: National Universities – Top 3
1. University of California, Berkeley (tie)
1. University of California, Los Angeles (tie)
3. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
2024 Top Public Schools: National Liberal Arts Colleges – Top 3
1. United States Naval Academy (MD)
2. United States Air Force Academy (CO)
3. United States Military Academy at West Point (NY)
2024 Top Performers on Social Mobility: National Universities – Top 3
1. California State University, Long Beach
2. California State University, Fullerton (tie)
2. California State University, Riverside (tie)
4. California State University, San Bernardino (tie)
4. University of California, Merced (tie)
2024 Top Performers on Social Mobility: National Liberal Arts Colleges – Top 3
1. Lake Forest College (IL)
2. Agnes Scott College (GA) (tie)
2. Salem College (NC) (tie)
2. Spelman College (GA)
Alongside the rankings, U.S. News publishes editorial content related to the college selection experience. This includes advice on topics such as a complete guide to the application process, how to ask for letters of recommendation, how to apply to college for free and more.
On Sept. 28, U.S. News will host a free webinar on the new edition of Best Colleges and its methodology, with presentations from the lead ranking analysts. Those interested in attending can register here.
U.S. News’ education portfolio also includes the newly acquired CollegeAdvisor.com which offers expert support during the college admissions process. In addition, U.S. News College Compass provides students and their parents with access to the most complete rankings and data.
To order a copy of the “Best Colleges 2024” guidebook (ISBN 979-8-9864591-2-7), visit the online U.S. News store.
About U.S. News & World Report
U.S. News & World Report is the global leader in quality rankings that empower consumers, business leaders and policy officials to make better, more informed decisions about important issues affecting their lives and communities. A multifaceted digital media company with Education, Health, Money, Travel, Cars, News, Real Estate, Careers and 360 Reviews platforms, U.S. News provides rankings, independent reporting, data journalism, consumer advice and U.S. News Live events. More than 40 million people visit USNews.com each month for research and guidance. Founded in 1933, U.S. News is headquartered in Washington, D.C.
SOURCE U.S. News & World Report, L.P.