U.S. News & World Report releases 2016 edition of best schools across a variety of categories
An annual college rankings report designed to help prospective students compare schools’ academic quality this year includes a list of the most innovation schools across the nation, so named for the improvements they’re making in curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, and technology.
U.S. News & World Report’s 2016 edition of Best Colleges also includes best national universities, best national liberal arts colleges, top public national universities, top public liberal arts colleges, and best value schools.
The innovative schools include Arizona State University – Tempe at No. 1, Stanford University at No. 2, Massachusetts Institute of Technology at No. 3, the University of Maryland – Baltimore County at No. 4, and Georgia State University at No. 5.
Princeton University holds on to its No. 1 spot in the Best National Universities category, followed by Harvard University in the No. 2 spot and Yale University in the No. 3 spot.
The University of California—Berkeley is the No. 1 Top Public School among National Universities.
The rankings focus on academic excellence, using up to 16 measures of academic quality. The rankings also emphasize outcomes, and graduation and retention rates carry the most weight in the methodology (30 percent).
The top schools all have high six-year graduation rates and strong freshman retention rates.
The average six-year graduation rate is 94.5 percent for the top 10 National Universities and 93.1 percent for the top 10 National Liberal Arts Colleges.
The average freshman retention rate is 97.3 percent for the top 10 National Universities and 96.7 percent for the top 10 National Liberal Arts Colleges.
For comparison, the average six-year graduation rate among all numerically ranked schools on the National Universities list is 72.6 percent, and the average freshman retention rate is 87.2 percent.
For comparison, the average six-year graduation rate among all numerically ranked schools on the National Liberal Arts Colleges list is 75.1 percent, and the average freshman retention rate is 86.1 percent.
“Taking into account how well a school supports its students from freshman year through graduation is important,” said Brian Kelly, editor and chief content officer at U.S. News. “To find the best fit, students should consider a range of factors, from financial aid offerings and location to campus size and majors. The process can be overwhelming, but our rankings and advice content are a great place to start.”
The college ranking categories are based upon the 2010 Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching classifications. The Carnegie classification system has been used by U.S. News since the first Best Colleges rankings in 1983, because they are accepted as the basis for classifying schools by most higher education researchers.
Learn more about the methodology here.
Material from a press release was used in this report.