Curt Carlson
Vice Chancellor for University Relations, 308.865.8529

The University of Nebraska at Kearney has been recognized for the first time as one of the top 15 public universities in the Midwest region at the Master’s Level, according to the 2008 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s annual America’s Best Colleges rankings. 

UNK also moved up five ranking positions within the top tier on the overall listing of the best Midwestern Master’s universities, public and private, from 65 last year to 60 currently.

“This year’s ranking confirms what we observe every day: UNK continues to improve in those areas most important to parents and students, and which reflect UNK’s focus on small classes, high academic standards, faculty strength and student success,” stated Chancellor Douglas A. Kristensen.

The Master’s Midwest region includes colleges and universities in a 12-state region, which includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Ohio and Wisconsin. 

According to Chancellor Kristensen, UNK’s elevated ranking reflects several key factors, including an outstanding freshmen retention rate (83%) and the high percentage of full-time faculty (93%). 

The rankings, which are a popular index for prospective students and their parents, measure 11 areas of university performance and peer assessment. UNK moved up in four of the 11 categories and maintained the previous years’ solid rankings in the remaining seven categories. 

UNK saw improvements in two critical areas–the percentage of classes with 20 or fewer students and in the student/faculty ratio. In all, 35% of UNK’s classes have 20 or fewer students and the student/faculty ratio is 16/1. 

“These numbers, in particular, are crucial to the creation of a learning environment at UNK that is conducive to high achievement for our students. UNK prides itself on its reputation for having close faculty/student relationships,” said Dr. Finnie A. Murray, Jr., senior vice chancellor for Academic Affairs and Student Life.

An upward trend was also marked in the number of UNK freshmen (38%) who were ranked in the top 25% of their graduating class.