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U.S. News & World Report has named Western Colorado University as one of its top 100 Regional Universities West (RUW) category, one of three other honors bestowed upon Western in its 2021 report.
Western ranked No. 75 in RUW, landing ahead of all but one peer institution in those categories. CSU Pueblo, Adams State University, Colorado Mesa University, Metropolitan State University of Denver and Naropa University all came in behind the Mountaineers. Colorado Christian University—a private institution—ranked No. 68.
The 2021 rankings were released last week and are based upon data from more than 1,800 colleges and universities. Of that number, rankings were made of 1,400 institutions. The data was compiled prior to the COVID-19 data, and therefore does not reflect the impact of the pandemic upon performance.
“We’re excited to once again receive this recognition,” said Vice President of Enrollment and Student Success Abel Chavez. “It affirms what we already know—Western is one of the best ways a student can receive a quality and affordable education while enjoying all the benefits of living in such a beautiful and open place.”
In addition to being recognized in the overall regional rankings, Western also was named No. 35 of Top Public RUW. Western was also named as a Top Performer on Social Mobility RUW, coming in a No. 104.
According to the publication, the Social Mobility factor indicates how well a school’s graduation rate is among students who receive federal Pell Grants. Those students typically come from households whose family incomes are less than $50,000 annually.
The rankings were based upon 17 metrics to assess academic quality with “the greatest emphasis on outcomes, particularly a college’s ability to retain and graduate students.” Class size, undergraduate academic reputation, and how much colleges spend on instruction and other educational investments.
New this year, graduate indebtedness was considered to address college affordability and the value of a degree, the publication said. U.S. News reported it reduced the weight given to SAT/ACT scores, high school class standing and alumni giving rates.
Author Credit: Chris Rourke