MONROE, La. — Big news came to the University of Louisiana Monroe’s campus Tuesday when the U.S. News & World Report included the university in its 2017 "Best National Universities" ranking.
This is ULM’s first appearance in U.S. News’ national ranking. For the last two years, U.S. News ranked the university among the “Best Regional Universities,” so the new ranking is a significant upgrade in status.
“This is a landmark achievement for ULM, a clear indication of our progress as an institution of higher learning,” said ULM president Dr. Nick J. Bruno. “We have continued to recruit qualified students and have retained and graduated those students at growing rates. ULM is now listed among the most elite universities in the nation and we are quite proud of that fact.”
U.S. News & World Report defines a national university as an institution which offers a full range of undergraduate majors as well as master’s and doctoral degrees.
In total, 298 schools were included in the 2017 ranking for Best National Universities. "Schools were ranked according to their performance across a set of widely accepted indicators of excellence," according to the ranking site.
One of the reasons ULM moved into the national ranking was its reclassification in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education—the most widely accepted classification system in U.S. higher education and the basis for U.S. News’ rankings.
In February, the Carnegie Classification recognized ULM as an R3 (“moderate research”) doctoral-granting institution of higher education, joining the state’s other doctoral universities (R1: LSU-Baton Rouge and Tulane University; R2: University of Louisiana at Lafayette and University of New Orleans; and R3: ULM and Louisiana Tech University). Previously, ULM was classified with the Master’s College and Universities – Larger programs (M1).
The 2017 U.S. News national ranking also took into account the increase in ULM’s retention and graduation rates, which have risen every year since Bruno came to ULM in 2010.
“Retention rates measure our ability to keep students on track toward graduation. The fact that we have seen a significant increase in both retention and graduation over the last six years indicates that we are improving as an institution in helping students attain life-changing degrees,” said Bruno.
Bruno indicated that the university would maintain its momentum as a nationally recognized university.
“ULM has made the national stage more than once and this ranking certainly increases our visibility on that stage,” Bruno continued. “With all of our recent success, we must continue to be forward-moving. We are no longer merely a regional university. The nation is paying attention to what we are doing here in northeast Louisiana.”
To view the U.S. News & World Report 2017 Best Colleges list, visit http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/rankings/national-universities.