EKU Earns National Recognition from U.S. News & World Report, Forbes

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Eastern Kentucky University has earned positive national recognition recently from two well-known magazines.

EKU again ranks in the top tier (59th among 90) of Regional Universities in the South in the 2011 edition of “Best Colleges” by U.S.News & World Report and was recognized by Forbes, the popular business magazine, as among “America’s Best Colleges” (the top 9 percent of colleges and universities nationwide) for the third consecutive year.

The U.S. News exclusive rankings will be published in the magazine’s September issue, available on newsstands Aug. 31 and are available, along with a summary of the ranking methodology, at www.usnews.com/collegemeth. Also, the 2011 Best Colleges Guidebook will be on newsstands Aug. 24.

Over the past two decades, the U.S. Newscollege rankings, which group schools based on categories created by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, has grown to become the most comprehensive research tool for students and parents considering higher education opportunities.

"As soaring college costs make the decision more complicated than ever, U.S. News strives to provide students and families with the best information to help guide them through this process," said U.S.News & World ReportEditor Brian Kelly. "This year the challenge comes down to finding the right college – at a cost you can afford. The 2011 edition includes specialty rankings, online guides for admission and paying for college advice to help navigate your search."

The 2011 Best Colleges report features the established rankings of the Best National Universities and Best National Liberal Arts Colleges, while also including rankings of A+ Schools for B Students, Great Schools at Great Prices, and Up-and-Coming Schools, among others.

U.S. Newshas made some changes to the 2011 Best Colleges' ranking methodology and presentation. This year, schools are designated National Universities, National Liberal Arts

Colleges, Regional Universities, and Regional Colleges. The publication is displaying the numerical rank of the top 75 percent of schools in each category, up from 50 percent. Graduation rate performance is more heavily weighted, and now accounts for 7.5 percent of the final score (compared to 5 percent previously) for the National Universities and National Liberal Arts Colleges categories only. For the first time, the opinions of high school guidance counselors are factored.

The 2011 Best Colleges package provides the most thorough examination of how more than 1,400 accredited four-year schools compare on a set of up to 16 widely accepted indicators of excellence. Among the many factors weighed in determining the rankings, the key measures of quality are: peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving, and for National Universities and National Liberal Arts Colleges "graduation rate performance" and high school counselor ratings of colleges.

Of the 610 public and private colleges and universities recognized by Forbes, EKU ranked No. 556. Because there are approximately 6,600 accredited postsecondary institutions nationwide, the ranking essentially places Eastern among the top 9 percent of colleges and universities.

Forbes’s third annual report, compiled by the magazine and the Center for College Affordability and Productivity (CCAP) from a variety of sources, ranks undergraduate institutions based on students’ satisfaction with their college experience, incurred debt, retention and graduation rates, and the success and salaries of graduates.

“To our way of thinking, a good college is one that meets student needs,” the Forbes report says. “We focus on factors that directly concern incoming students. Will my courses be interesting? Is it likely I will graduate in four years? Will I incur a ton of debt getting my degree? And once I get out of school, will I get a good job?

“Appearing on our list at all is an indication that a school meets a high standard,” Forbes says.

 To view the complete Forbes rankings, visit www.forbes.com/colleges.

Published on August 18, 2010