Many students who are considering a college or university often look for guidance at some of the nationally known publications, both online and in print, that either rank institutions or recognize them on the basis of certain characteristics. Some organizations also provide special recognition to institutions that are "getting it right" in terms of the education students are provided. Here are just a few examples of recognition the University of Central Missouri has earned:
U.S. News & World Report named the University of Central Missouri to its regional list of Best Public Colleges and Universities in its 2018 Best Colleges Guidebook. The publication ranked UCM 87th overall among all public and private institutions in a 12-state area that constitutes the Midwest region. UCM's online Master of Business Administration (MBA) program was also recognized in the same guidebook.
The Princeton Review named UCM "a 2017 Best College in the Midwestern Region," a designation given for the 11th consecutive year. The publication noted that a "top-notch education comes with a very low price tag" at the University of Central Missouri. Institutions are primarily recognized for their excellent academic programs, with selections based on data from each institution, school visits, and opinions of independent and high school-based college advisers whose recommendations are invited.
The advocacy group St. Louis Graduates in 2017 commissioned a report by the Illinois Research Council naming UCM as one of five institutions in Missouri and Illinois that are "getting it right" when it comes to helping underrepresented students in higher education by graduating more students than predicted, with less debt.
In spring 2018, the Lumina Foundation, in partnership with the Kresge Foundation, announced the designation of St. Louis and six other communities across the country as Talent Hubs. These cities earned this designation by meeting rigorous standards for creating environments that attract, retain and cultivate talent, particularly among today's students, many of whom are underrepresented in higher education, the first in their families to go to college, and from low-income households. UCM was one of five Missouri higher education institutions included in the St. Louis Talent Hub, which is a collaboration led by St. Louis Graduates, a network of K-12 and higher education, youth-serving non-profit organizations, business and philanthropy dedicated to transforming lives through postsecondary education equity.