U.S. News & World Report has named Western Colorado University as a top 100 Regional Universities West (RUW) institution, landing ahead of its peers and tying with one in state institution.
Western tied for 61 with Colorado Christian University, and was ranked higher than CSU Pueblo, Adams State, Colorado Mesa University, and Metropolitan State University of Denver. Western’s ranking is 14 places higher than last year’s rank.
The 2022 rankings were released Sept. 13, 2021, and are based upon data from 1,466 U.S. bachelor’s degree-granting institutions. The RUW represents 14 states. In addition to being recognized in the overall regional rankings, Western also was ranked 28 among the best colleges for veterans. Western was also chosen as a Top Performer on Social Mobility RUW, coming in at 88, an improvement of 16 places.
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.
Supporting Under-Represented Individuals
Most recently, Western has focused on providing assistance to first-generation students and under-represented minorities. Students who are the first in their family to attend college face unique obstacles. In recognition of this, Western awards a First-Generation Scholarship designed to ease some financial strain and increase access. No scholarship application is required. In addition, Western has partnered with the Mexican government to offer qualifying students of Hispanic decent scholarship funds.
“Through its hard work, the Western community has lots to celebrate and be proud of,” said Vice President for Enrollment and Student Success Abel Chávez, Ph.D. “The campus has rallied to produce a strong enrollment year, our first-year retention has climbed, graduation rates are improving and are above our peers, advancement efforts are yielding cutting-edge student-centered programs like our School of Computer Science & Engineering, and much more. The rising costs of college is but one challenge disproportionately affecting our first in family and URM learners – the focus of our campus to close the achievement gaps and elevate social mobility for all our students is inspiring.”
U.S. News and World Report 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. Other metrics include class size, undergraduate academic reputation, and how much colleges spend on instruction and other educational investments.
This is the 37th year that U.S. News and World Report has ranked U.S. colleges and universities.
Learn more about Western’s mission and campus profile.
Author Credit: Chris Rourke
Photo Credit: Chad Reich