JONESBORO – Arkansas State University moved into the “National Universities” category for the first time in U.S. News and World Report’s annual “Best Colleges Rankings” and led the state of Arkansas in two important areas. U.S. News announced its 2020 rankings this week.
Inclusion in the top tier of institutions ranked by U.S. News follows the move late last year when The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education elevated Arkansas State to “Doctoral Universities: High Research Activity 2” or Research 2.
Among the 399 institutions listed in the National Universities category, Arkansas State also earned two significant rankings in two significant subcategories.
Arkansas State was tied for 76th in the nation and ranked first in the state of Arkansas for “Best Undergraduate Teaching,” reinforcing a traditional point of strength often emphasized in recruitment messaging. Other institutions ranked at #76 included Ball State, Boston University, Loyola University New Orleans, Oregon State, Texas A&M, Arizona and UCLA.
A-State also led the state of Arkansas and ranked in a tie for #119 nationally on the new “Social Mobility” measurement. The ranking for social mobility recognizes how well colleges serve low-income students. Economically disadvantaged students are less likely than others to finish college, but some colleges are more successful than others at advancing social mobility by enrolling and graduating large proportions of disadvantaged students awarded with Pell Grants.
“While Arkansas State moves to a more prominent place on the national higher education stage, we are glad that we continue to be recognized as a university that values teaching, and that is changing the lives of the students who attend A-State. I am proud of the outstanding performance by the members of our faculty and staff who strive daily to serve our students,” Chancellor Kelly Damphousse said. “We are excited to see where A-State will rank in the years ahead now that we’ve moved out of the regional university category.”
Arkansas State was grouped with a number of institutions, including two others in the state, in the “#293-#381” ranking level, which is based on a set of various indicators of institutional excellence – including ACT scores of freshman class, first-year retention, graduation rates, applicant acceptance rates, academic reputation, and alumni giving rates.