UNK Ranks in U.S. News & World Report, Again

Renee Ballenger

Best Colleges 2009For the second consecutive year, the U.S. News & World Report annual ranking of America’s best colleges has placed the University of Nebraska at Kearney among the top 15 public universities at the Master’s level in the Midwest region.

The magazine’s 2009 survey also gave UNK its highest ranking ever (#59) among all Master’s universities, both public and private, in the12- state region which includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Ohio and Wisconsin.

In the U.S. News & World Report analysis, universities in the Midwest Master’s division are those which provide a full range of undergraduate and master’s programs, but offer few, if any, doctoral programs. For the sixth year in a row, UNK ranks in the top tier of Midwest institutions of that kind.

According to Chancellor Kristensen, UNK’s ranking reflects several key factors, including an outstanding freshmen retention rate (81%) and a high graduation rate (55%) compared to peer institutions.

“Success on those benchmarks,” Kristensen says, “reflects our student-oriented values and the contributions of faculty and staff who live those values every day.”

The U.S. News & World Report rankings process measures 11 areas of university performance and peer assessment. In addition to the retention and graduation rates, UNK scored high in two other critical areas–the percentage of classes with 20 or fewer students and in the student/faculty ratio. In all, 37 percent of UNK’s classes have 20 or fewer students, and the student/faculty ratio is 16/1. Additionally, 93 percent of UNK faculty are full-time.

The upward trend in rankings also reflected the increasing quality of UNK’s freshmen students– in this year’s survey 36 percent ranked in the top 25 percent of their high school class.

Chancellor Kristensen concludes, “The entire UNK community should be very proud of (all these) achievements.We’re committed to staying on that course.”