KU blames fall in “Best Universities” ranking on change in methodology

Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 9:57 AM CDT
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LAWRENCE, Kan. (WIBW) - The University of Kansas has blamed its fall in ranking among the best public universities on a change in the way the rankings are scored.

The University of Kansas announced on Monday, Sept. 18, that the university fell about 24 spots among public universities in the newest U.S. News & World Report “Best Colleges” rankings.

KU noted that the drop is due almost entirely to significant changes in the methodology of the rankings to emphasize metrics like graduate debt and earnings after graduation. In particular, the “social mobility” ranking - which accounts for graduation rates for Pell Grant recipients and first-generation students - was weighted twice as heavily in the 2023 methodology compared to years past.

“We appreciate that prospective students and their families may look to these rankings, and we always prefer to increase our standing,” said Chancellor Douglas A. Girod. “That said, we remain focused on our own measures of success, which align with the Kansas Board of Regents’ strategic plan, the needs of Kansas businesses and communities, and our broader aspirations as one of the nation’s leading research institutions.”

KU noted that a few schools ranked among the top 100:

  • KU’s School of Nursing ranks 17th among public universities - an increase of five spots from 2022
  • KU’s School of Engineering ranked 54th among public universities - a decrease of three spots from 2022
  • KU’s School of Business ranked 38th among public universities - an increase of four spots from 2022

The University indicated that these rankings differ from the annual graduate school rankings, which are typically published in the spring.