KALAMAZOO—Western Michigan University is making its 23rd consecutive appearance this year on the U.S. News & World Report's annual list of "best national universities."
The publication's 2014 ranking of more than 1,500 four-year colleges and universities was unveiled Sept. 10 at usnews.com and will be available later this month in a print guidebook on newsstands. WMU is listed as one of the top-tier universities among 281 institutions—173 public, 101 private and seven for-profit—the magazine singles out as having national standing and being among the nation's best.
A 'best national university' for 20 years and counting
WMU has appeared in the magazine's grouping of "best national universities" since 1991. Two years ago, the publication moved to a two-tiered structure for the schools it calls best national universities, ranking those in the top tier and listing those in the bottom tier alphabetically. WMU's overall numerical rank among the top public and private universities this year is 181—eight slots higher than its 2012 ranking. WMU also is one of just over 100 public universities on the list.
The widely read U.S. News list is based on 16 criteria, including academic reputation, retention and graduation rates, student-faculty ratios, class size, faculty resources, student test scores and alumni giving. For this year's list, the magazine reported, the rankings were redone to more heavily weigh "output measures that signal how well a school educates its students."
The U.S. News ranking comes on the heels of other national ranking news for the University. In late August, Washington Monthly called WMU one of the national universities that offer students the "best bang for the buck." And millennial blog Policy Mic rated WMU as one of the top 12 schools in the nation "where students get the best bang for the buck." Early in August, Princeton Review named WMU one of the Best Midwestern Colleges for the ninth consecutive year.