KU listed at 46th among public universities in U.S. News and World Report rankings

Kansas University slightly increased its ranking in the U.S. News and World Report college rankings released today, both overall and among public schools.

KU is in a tie for 46th among public schools, in a tie with Florida State University, North Carolina State University, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the University of New Hampshire, the University of Oklahoma, the University of Oregon and the University of Tennessee. The schools ranked in a tie for 101st when both public and private schools were included, up from KU’s 104th overall ranking last year.

Two private schools, the University of Dayton and the University of the Pacific, both also received the same overall score as KU.

Jeff Vitter, KU’s provost and executive vice chancellor, said he was glad to see that KU moved up on the list, particularly given that the overall pool was a little bit larger this year.

In recent years, KU has been ranked as high as 30th among public schools in 1999 and as low as 47th last year.

“The reality is that students, their families and others look to the rankings to get a sense of where universities stand,” Vitter said. “It’s always good to go up rather than down.”

Still, he said the university was looking to further improve its standing.

The university’s strategic plan, which will soon be publicly unveiled, will seek to improve KU in several areas that would improve its ranking, too, like retention and graduation rates.

“Quite frankly, one thing that jumps out in these rankings is our acceptance rate,” Vitter said.

He pointed out that KU was the only university among the overall top 140 schools that had an acceptance rate of higher than 90 percent (KU’s is 93 percent).

The Kansas Board of Regents has given its blessing for state universities to propose their own requirements, and Vitter said the school would work with state leaders to determine what role KU should serve in this area, and if it should propose higher admission standards.

“It makes sense for KU as the flagship institution to play a special role,” Vitter said.

By Andy Hyland

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