Contact: Kelly Bartling
KEARNEY – University of Nebraska at Kearney is ranked 13th in Midwest Top Public Regional Universities in the 2014 U.S. News and World Report annual Best Colleges rankings. This is one spot out of being in the Top 10, with four Midwest universities tied at ninth place ahead of UNK.
Among all regional universities (public and private) in the Midwest, UNK was ranked 48th.
The rankings, published since 1983, are not a comprehensive indicator of quality but do provide magazine readers a glimpse into comparable data. The data includes the subjective peer assessment, and objective measures such as freshman retention rate, graduation rates, class size and student to faculty ratio, SAT or ACT scores and class rankings of incoming freshmen, acceptance rates and alumni giving rates.
According to U.S. News and World Report, UNK scores well on a student-to-faculty ratio of 16 to 1, with a graduation rate of 56 percent. Forty-three percent of freshmen finished high school in the top fourth of their class. Among other measures: 41 percent of UNK classes are smaller than 20 students, and only 5 percent of its classes are larger than 50 students. UNK’s peer assessment score was 2.9 out of 5.
UNK Chancellor Doug Kristensen said the annual rankings have become a “barometer” for university quality, despite their focus on measures that may or may not have a direct impact on a student’s experience.
“Visiting campus, meeting faculty, examining the programs one is interested in and hearing first-hand from students, faculty and staff remains the best measure of quality a potential student can obtain,” Kristensen said. “Nevertheless it’s good to see that our retention and graduation rates are among the very best of our peers. Those are definitely indicators of quality.”
In the rankings UNK outranks all of its MIAA athletic conference college and university competitors with the 48th place ranking among regional universities. The nearest to UNK in the rankings in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Conference is Missouri Southern at 64th. There are no other MIAA universities in the Top Public Regional Universities.
UNK had been ranked three consecutive years in the top 10 Top Public Regional Universities.
The rankings were released Sept. 9.
The rankings also include other listings on criteria such as diversity, price and student debt, focus on students and commitment to teaching. UNK made a list of “A-Plus Schools for B Students… (where nonsuperstars have a decent shot at being accepted and thriving).”