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Trustees | General Education

Penn State University slips in US News & World Report ranking

PENNLIVE   |  September 10, 2014 by Barbara Miller

Penn State University tied for 48th place in best national universities, slipping from 37th place last year, according to US News & World Report’s rankings of 1,365 schools.

In the new 2014 rankings, Penn State also ranked ranked 14th among public schools, and as the 2nd best college for veterans.

Penn State shared the 48th spot with the Universities of Florida, Miami and Washington and Yeshiva University.

Among Penn State’s graduate programs, rankings ranged from 51st for its law school to 4th for rehab counseling, 5th for criminology and 25th for engineering.

Here’s how other central Pennsylvania colleges fared in the new US News & World Reports rankings:

  • Bucknell College: 8th, best undergraduate engineering, and 2nd in chemical; tied for 32nd, national liberal arts colleges.
  • Dickinson College: Tied for 37th, national liberal arts colleges.
  • Elizabethtown College: 2nd, best value; 4th, northern regional colleges.
  • Franklin & Marshall College: 4th, up and coming schools; 32nd, best value schools; tied for 37th, national liberal arts colleges.
  • Gettysburg College: 50th, national liberal arts colleges.
  • Lebanon Valley College: 1st, best colleges for veterans; 3rd, best value; 6th, northern regional colleges,
  • Messiah College: 5th northern regional colleges; 8th best value.
  • Millersville University: 25th, top public schools; 87th, northern regional universities; 390th, nursing grad school.
  • Shippensburg University: Tied, 87, regional northern universities; 25, top public schools.
  • York College: 31st, best for veterans; 87th, northern regional universities.

US News & World Report ranks schools using up to 16 indicators of academic excellence, including academic reputation, retention, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, graduation rate and alumni giving.

The rankings aren’t embraced by all, such as the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, which does it’s own ranking, “What Will They Learn?”. Rather than looking at data such as selectivity and alumni giving, this ranking system focuses on what courses students are required to take at 1,100 colleges and universities, said spokesman Daniel Burnett.

In another ranking system, College Factual, published in USA Today, Penn State University’s main campus ranks 137th nationwide, and 14 out of the 95 best Pennsylvania colleges.

Penn State also has a “value” ranking of 603 out of 1,223 colleges nationwide.

Pennsylvania did top the list, however, with University of Pennsylvania ranked first in the nation and state. Penn outranked Yale, Duke, Harvard and MIT.

College Factual says its rankings are data-driven and don’t rely on subjective surveys. It puts less emphasis on input data like SAT scores, and more on outcomes like graduation and retention rates, early and mid-career earnings and student loan default rates.

Here’s how other central Pennsylvania colleges fared in the College Factual rankings:

  • Bucknell University: 24 in U.S.; 2 in Pa.; 636 in value.
  • Millersville University: 467 in U.S.; 42 in Pa.; 191 in value.
  • Lebanon Valley College: 252 in U.S.; 26 in Pa.; 280 in value.
  • Franklin & Marshall College: 67 in U.S.; 8 in Pa.; 678 in value.
  • Elizabethtown College: 226 in U.S.; 23 in Pa.; value n/a.
  • Dickinson College: 57 in U.S.; 7 in Pa.; 489 in value.
  • Messiah College: 239 in U.S.; 25 in Pa.; 111 in value.
  • Gettysburg College: 78 in U.S.; 11 in Pa.; value n/a.
  • Harrisburg University: 1,043 in U.S.; 89 in Pa.; value n/a.
  • York College: 1,173 in U.S.; 16 in Pa.; 545 in value.
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