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UCM Climbs U.S. News Rankings as Best Value Institution, Continues to Rank Among Top 20 Public Institutions in the Midwest

By Jeff Murphy, September 18, 2023


Event such as the annual Welcome Walk to begin the fall semester contribute to the University of Central Missouri's  campus culture, which is among characteristics that organizations such as U.S. News & World Report  consider in their final rankings. 

WARRENSBURG, MO – U.S. News & World Report, a resource prospective students and their families use to help determine which institution is the best fit for their higher education needs, has included the University of Central Missouri among its top-ranked universities in several categories for 2023-2024. 

In its online feature released Sept. 18, UCM climbed five spots from a year ago with its #57 ranking as a Best Value School among Regional Universities in the Midwest, and it leaped 94 spots forward with its #319 ranking among all Nursing programs in the nation. Regionally, UCM also was recognized as #18 among Top Public Schools, #29 among Best Colleges for Veterans; #67 overall in the regional rankings; and #99 as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. For the first time, UCM received a national ranking in the Undergraduate Engineering Programs category, which was listed at #203. Other national program listings for UCM included its Undergraduate Business Programs and Computer Science Programs, which did not change from last year in their rankings.

For its 39th rankings edition, U.S. News evaluated nearly 1,500 colleges and universities on 19 measures. These measures reflected academic quality and graduate outcomes, which are factors it states are universally important to prospective students. Also important are considerations such  as campus culture, strength in specific majors and financial aid offered. To account for this, U.S. News supplements its overall rankings with specialized subject and cost-oriented rankings, customizable search tools, education journalism, and a detailed school directory with exclusive academic and nonacademic information.

The rankings were divided into four regions, North, South, Midwest and West. The Midwest Region, according to U.S. News, included 167 public and private institutions which offer a full range of undergraduate programs and some master’s programs but few doctoral programs. The rankings also include national universities, which are institutions that offer programs ranging from undergraduate majors to doctoral programs and a commitment to groundbreaking research, as well as national liberal arts colleges, which emphasize undergraduate education with about half of their degrees in the liberal arts fields of study.

According to U.S. News,  unlike previous years, the latest 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," U.S. News noted on its website. "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," said 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."

U.S. News also provides a section devoted to user reviews and ratings. Although these have no impact on the overall score, they offer insight into individual experiences at UCM and the institution’s reputation.

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, Real Estate, News 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 each month for research and guidance. Founded in 1933, U.S. News is headquartered in Washington, D.C.



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