LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas fell 24 spots among public universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report “Best Colleges” rankings.
The drop is due almost entirely to significant changes in the U.S. News rankings methodology to emphasize metrics such as graduate debt and earnings after graduation. In particular, the “social mobility” ranking – which accounts for metrics like graduation rates for Pell Grant recipients and first-generation students – was weighted twice as heavily in this year’s methodology compared to the previous year’s methodology.
“We appreciate that prospective students and their families may look to these rankings, and we always prefer to increase our standing,” said Chancellor Douglas A. Girod. “That said, we remain focused on our own measures of success, which align with the Kansas Board of Regents’ strategic plan, the needs of Kansas businesses and communities, and our broader aspirations as one of the nation’s leading research institutions.”
Other items of note from this year’s ranking include the following:
- KU’s School of Nursing ranks No. 17 among publics, an increase of five spots from last year.
- KU’s School of Engineering is ranked No. 54 among publics, a decrease of three spots from last year.
- KU’s School of Business ranks No. 38 among publics, an increase of four spots from last year.
U.S. News publishes its “Best Colleges” rankings each fall. These rankings are different from the annual graduate school rankings, which are published each spring. In the most recent edition of the graduate school rankings, KU had nine graduate programs in the top 10 and 51 programs in the top 50 among public universities.