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UCM Advances in U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings

By Jeff Murphy, September 12, 2019

UCM Administration Building

WARRENSBURG, MO – U.S. News & World Report, one of the most widely known sources used by prospective students to find schools that match their educational needs and goals, today announced its 2020 Best Colleges rankings. It shows advancement for the University of Central Missouri in three categories in the Midwest region while also being listed as a “Top Performer” regionally in a new category on “social mobility.”

Information released by U.S. News & World Report is based on data that was collected from approximately 1,800 colleges and universities across the nation which are profiled in the U.S. News Best Colleges directory, although only about 1,400 of these institutions are ranked. U.S. News & World Report’s statistical profiles help prospective students to learn more about institutions they are considering to pursue their education, and are derived from numerous data points reported by each institution to the U.S. Department of Education. Regional universities included public and private colleges and universities that offer a full range of undergraduate programs and some master’s programs but few doctoral programs.

UCM climbed from #81 to #78 among regional universities in the Midwest, moved from #17 to #16 as a Top Public School in the Midwest, and from #405 to #380 in the regional category for undergraduate business programs. It also was listed #54 in the region as one of the “2020 Top Performers on Social Mobility,” a category in which U.S. News ranks schools based on their success in helping economically disadvantaged students to finish college.

"We are pleased that we continue to climb in the U.S. News & World Report rankings. Our faculty and staff are committed to student success, affordability, and academic quality and rigor, and the outcome of their dedication is reflected in our rankings,” said UCM President Roger Best. “I am especially pleased that we were ranked highly in the new Social Mobility category. We firmly believe that education provides significant opportunity, and our goal is to ensure all of our students achieve."

Data considered by U.S. News includes factors such as student outcomes, which account for the largest percentage of the ranking – 35 percent. This area covers graduation and retention rates, including degree completion for Pell Grant recipients, and social mobility. The ranking also considers faculty resources, such as the percentage of faculty with the highest academic degree in their field, student-faculty ratio; the opinions of top academics from peer institutions; student excellence related to high school class standing and factors related to standardized tests; the university’s financial resources; and alumni giving.

In its profile of UCM, among the many characteristics of UCM noted for the data year include:

  • A 16:1 student-faculty ratio with 47.1 percent of the university’s classes having fewer than 20 students per class
  • Safety and security services that include 24-hour foot and vehicle patrols, late-night transport/escort services, lighted pathways, student patrols, controlled dormitory access
  • Fifty-nine percent of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid
  • The average need-based scholarship or grant award in $4,374
  • The most popular majors include: health professions and related programs, education, business management, marketing, and related support services; homeland security, law enforcement, firefighting and related protective services; and engineering technologies and engineering-related fields.

The U.S. News & World Report rankings follow recent recognition by UCM as being one of Princeton Review’s ”Best in the Midwest” colleges and universities, and inclusion as a best school in the Midwest as per the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) Times Higher Education 2020 College Rankings.


Learn more about the U.S. News & World Report by visiting their website.


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