U jumps in national rankings

Two new national college rankings show progress and continual achievement by the University of Utah, as reflected by improvements over the previous year’s rankings.

In the U.S. News & World Report college rankings, the U jumped from #119 in the 2019 rankings to #104 in 2020, and from #56 among public universities to #44—cracking the top 50.

In the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education rankings, the U came in at #126 of 801 institutions, up from #189 last year.

“Increases in rankings happen when you are doing the right thing,” said President Ruth Watkins. “Our collective effort on student success and research excellence is reflected in this good news.”

Six-year graduation rates at the U rose from 60% in 2013 to 70% in 2018, and research funding grew from $388 million to $515 million in the same five years. These and other factors, including the new rankings, contribute to the U’s rising national reputation.

U.S. News ranks colleges based on 15 indicators that can help prospective students answer the questions most important to them as they decide where to attend college.  The highest weight is given to assessment of the institution’s reputation among its peers, with other indicators measuring other factors including graduation and retention rates, financial and faculty resources and even alumni giving rate.

The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings consider four key areas: Resources (30% of overall score), which encompasses the college’s finances and faculty numbers; Engagement (20% of score), which measures the college’s engagement with students; Outcomes (40%), including graduation rate and value added to salary and Environment (10%), which includes student and staff diversity. Student surveys, collected by Times Higher Education, are a key data source.