AUBURN – Auburn University is ranked 28th among land grant universities nationally and in the top 50 of public universities overall for the 16th consecutive year, according to an annual survey released by U.S. News & World Report today. Auburn placed 45th among the top 50 public universities.
“The comparison to other land grants is critically important to us, because land grants share certain common academic qualities,” said Jay Gogue, Auburn University president. “Our strategic plan calls for us to steadily increase our measures of quality among this distinctive group.
“Beyond the specific rankings, having worked in other states for much of my career, I am astounded at what higher education in Alabama has been able to accomplish. The state has two universities ranked in the top 50 of public institutions, and two ranked private institutions, plus a highly ranked medical school. This is a major achievement.”
Gogue said that Auburn’s new strategic plan calls for increasing its selectivity of prospective students and increasing its graduation rates, both of which could positively impact future rankings, but indicated the university is “most interested in the success of the students who attend Auburn and in quantifying how much they learn while they are here.” Auburn is participating in national assessments to measure such data.
The undergraduate program of Auburn’s Samuel Ginn College of Engineering is ranked 51st nationally overall and 28th among public universities that offer doctoral programs in engineering, moving up from 57th and 34th, respectively, from the previous year.
The College of Business ranked 30th among public institutions and 52nd among national universities.
Auburn’s various national rankings and achievements can be found on the university’s Web site at http://www.auburn.edu/rankings.
“The U.S. News ratings are based on indicators that some prospective college students may value, such as general reputation or selectivity,” said Drew Clark, director of Auburn’s Office of Institutional Research and Assessment. “But Auburn also uses assessments that provide direct information on equally important indicators of quality, such as how much students are actually learning and what kind of college experience they have.”
U.S. News establishes its rankings by categorizing colleges and universities primarily by mission and, in some cases, region. The magazine then gathers data from each on up to 15 indicators of academic excellence, assigning each factor a weight that reflects the magazine’s judgment about how much each measure matters.
The indicators the magazine staff uses to capture academic quality fall into seven categories: academic reputation among its peers, retention of students, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving, and (for national universities and liberal arts colleges) the graduation rate performance, or the difference between the proportion of students expected to graduate and the proportion who actually do.
The newsstand book, America’s Best Colleges, which contains the U.S. News college rankings, may be ordered from www.usnews.com and will be shipped to bookstores today.