CSU rises in U.S. News & World Report rankings

U.S. News & World Report logoColorado State University saw its ranking increase in several categories of the annual U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges edition released Sept. 14.

Among all public colleges and universities nationally, CSU rose from 79 last year to 71 this year. When private institutions are included, its overall ranking in the U.S. also went up significantly, from 166 to 153.

According to the university’s Office of Institutional Research, Planning and Effectiveness, one of the primary reasons for the rise is likely the publication’s category of “faculty resources.” In that category, which accounts for 20% of an institution’s ranking, CSU saw a decrease in its calculated student-faculty ratio, an increase in the reported percentage of faculty with terminal degrees, and an increase in sections with fewer than 20 students (according to data collected prior to the COVID-19 protocols implemented this fall).

Other contributing factors include slight increases in average faculty compensation, per-student spending, and student excellence measures such as standardized test scores and the proportion of students graduating in the top 10% of their high school class.

In addition, CSU made the U.S. News list of “Best Value” schools again, rising from 179 to 168. That ranking is based on the ratio of quality to price, need-based aid, percent of need-based aid recipients awarded scholarships and grants, and “average discount,” or the cost of attendance covered by need-based scholarship or grant award.

CSU also made the magazine’s “Best for Vets” list once more, and saw its ranking rise from 121 to 108. Last fall, CSU placed second in the nation in the annual Military Times Best for Vets ranking.

Additional accolades

The U.S. News & World Report rankings come on the heels of a variety of other honors for CSU. Earlier this year, U.S. News & World Report ranked CSU’s online bachelor’s degree ninth in the nation among public universities. It also rated the College of Business online MBA and online master’s in computer information systems as number one in the state of Colorado. The Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering online graduate programs debuted in the top 20 in the nation – 14 among the best public universities for veterans – and 27 among public universities.

Also this year, The Nature Index, a measure of institutional research performance, ranked CSU as a “Rising Star” in earth and environmental sciences. Last year, U.S. News & World Report ranked the Colorado School of Public Health 23 out of 177 of the nation’s Master of Public Health schools and programs accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health.

In August, the website successfulstudent.org placed CSU in the top 10 nationally among universities developing solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic.