US News & World Report releases 2018 best college rankings

FILE PHOTO: The Master's University class of 2017 graduates sing a hymn at the start of commencement ceremonies at College of the Canyons on May 5, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

U.S. News & World Report released its annual best college rankings Tuesday, with The Master’s University and California State University, Northridge (CSUN) ranking in several categories.

CSUN ranked No. 73 for Regional Universities West and No. 22 for Top Public Schools for Regional Universities West.

Nationally, CSUN ranked No. 44 in Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs, at schools where doctorates are not offered, and No. 216 in Best Undergraduate Business Programs.

The rankings are slightly lower than the 2017 best college rankings, where CSUN was ranked at No. 68 for Regional Universities West, No. 20 for Top Public Schools for Regional Universities West and No. 42 for Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs.

However, the school did move up two spots in Best Undergraduate Business Programs where it was ranked No. 218 last year.

Similar results were observed for The Master’s University which ranked No. 37 for Regional Universities West and No. 23 for Best Value Schools for Regional Universities West.

In the 2017 rankings, the university ranked No. 35 for Regional Universities West, No. 15 for Best Value Schools and No. 20 for Best Colleges for Veterans.

Each year, U.S. News & World Report creates the annual best college rankings to “help prospective students and their families research more than 1,800 U.S.-based universities.”

The universities and colleges are judged by 15 measures of academic excellence and weighted by U.S. News, with an emphasis on student outcomes like graduation and freshman retention rates.

These indicators include: graduation and first-year retention rates, undergraduate academic reputation, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving, graduation rate performance and high school counselor ratings.

Schools are then given a score and ranked against their peers.

For the first time this year, the report also includes postgraduate salary information on 1,000 schools.  The information provided by PayScale details the median starting salaries for alumni with zero to five years of work experience.

Some colleges remain unranked because they do not use SAT or ACT scores in admission decisions for first-time, first-year, degree-seeking applicants.

U.S. News also did not rank 84 highly-specialized schools in arts, business and engineering.
California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) was one of these unranked schools and fell in the Arts Schools category.

Here is a list of the top five in each major category:

National Universities 

  1. Princeton University
  2. Harvard University
  3. University of Chicago (tie)
  4. Yale University (tie)
  5. Columbia University (tie)
  6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (tie)
  7. Stanford University (tie)

National Liberal Arts Colleges

  1. Williams College
  2. Amherst Colleges
  3. Bowdoin College (tie)
  4. Swarthmore College (tie)
  5. Wellesley College (tie)

Public National Universities

  1. University of California—Berkley (tie)
  2. University of California—Los Angeles (tie)
  3. University of Virginia
  4. University of Michigan—Ann Arbor
  5. University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill

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