U.S. News and World Report issued its annual “best colleges” rankings Tuesday, and significant changes in their presentation and methodology this year resulted in a strong ranking for the University of Nevada, Reno. In the 2011 rankings of “best national universities,” the University ranks as a first tier school at number 191.
For its annual rankings U.S. News surveyed 1,472 universities and colleges. The publication reports that about 90 percent participated and provided the requested data and, of those, 262 are listed as “best national universities” for 2011.
“Being named to the top tier reflects the quality of what we offer, the students we attract, the quality of our faculty and the graduates we produce,” said University President Milt Glick. “We have been ranked as a ‘best national university’ for many years, and it is rewarding to now be noted in the top tier.”
This year’s rankings fall into two tiers rather than four tiers as they did in previous years, and U.S. News also included gave a numeric ranking to a greater number of colleges and universities. These changes resulted in the University of Nevada receiving its first numeric ranking from U.S. News.
The categories this year also include “Most Debt/Least Debt” rankings, and the University of Nevada, Reno made the “least debt” list at #22.
A key component to the U.S. News methodology is a reputation survey that is completed by university presidents, provosts and admission officers. In prior years the reputation survey accounted for 25 percent of the total overall score for each university. This year the reputation survey accounted for 22.5 percent. Those surveyed now also include high school counselors from top-ranked high schools. While the reputation survey is weighted less, graduation rate performance is more heavily weighted this year. The U.S. News methodology for determining graduation rate incorporates a lag of several years and, because of this, recent gains by the University of Nevada are not reflected in the 2011 results.
The 2011 rankings are available at U.S. News.