U.S. News & World Report has released its list of the 2024 Best Colleges in the country, and a lot has changed in a year.
Since last year’s list was published some of Alabama’s schools have risen in the ranking, while others have fallen. Many of the changes are related to a new focus by the publication on social mobility and outcomes that are possible for graduating college students.
This year, Auburn University moved up four spots from 97 to 93 and was the only college in the state to crack the top 100 on the list. It was also ranked 47th among the nation’s public colleges
“Auburn’s mission is to provide our students with an exceptional experience that prepares them for life and, more importantly, to contribute their knowledge and talents for the public good,” Auburn President Christopher B. Roberts said. “While these rankings certainly reflect the extensive and exceptional efforts of our faculty and staff to deliver innovative academic programs, they also reflect our institution’s commitment to improving real and measurable student outcomes.”
The next highest ranked state university was the University of Alabama in Huntsville, which came in at 227 on the list representing a 35-spot jump from last year.
Almost all of the other schools that cracked the top 500 dropped in the rankings:
- University of Alabama at Birmingham, 142, dropped five spots
- University of Alabama, 170, dropped 33 spots
- Samford University, 185, dropped 58 spots
- University of South Alabama, 382, previous rank not given
- Alabama State University, 394-435, previous rank not given
To be ranked, institutions had to meet the following conditions: have regional accreditation, be included in Carnegie’s Basic classification but not designated as a “highly specialized” school, enroll at least 100 undergraduate students, have reported financial expenditures data to the U.S. Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) finance survey, and have reported a six-year graduation rate of full-time, first-year bachelor’s degree-seeking students in recent years.
Surveyed schools not passing all of these criteria are listed as unranked.
Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News.