Emporia State has once again been ranked in the top 100 Midwest regional schools by U.S. News and World Report, placing 97th on the list and maintaining its Tier 1 status. ESU ranked below Washburn University at 70, and Pittsburg State University at 80, and above Fort Hays, who did not officially place on the list. ESU also ranked 35 out of 54 public institutions in the region.
Schools on the list are ranked based on a number of categories, including peer review by administrators of nearby schools, retention and graduation rates, alumni involvement and financial resources.
Jim Williams, vice president of Student Affairs, said he feels as though the criteria being used to rank schools are fair, provided that they lead to consistent results among schools. Williams also said that he feels that ESU can help improve its ranking over time by focusing on some of the categories being examined.
“In a general sense, the qualities, and the general outcomes of those qualities, are what continue to predict success of an institution, so working on enhancing those and building on the momentum the campus is experiencing is moving those kinds of things forward,” Williams said.
John Schrock, professor of biology, said that the ranking would be very important to international students when choosing a school.
But Schrock also said that he found the system used by US News and World Report to be flawed when it came to actually examining a school.
“They’re taking the whole university, and the whole university is a mix of things, some of which are really exceptional and some of which are really mediocre, and they’re just giving out one grade,” Schrock said. “The truth is, schools differ by departments.”
Even so, students seem optimistic about ESU’s ranking, including Joseph Harbison, freshman psychology major.
“It’s always nice knowing that you’re beating out some competition, especially being in the same brackets as them in things like sports,” Harbison said. “It’s just one more thing to have an upper hand in.”
Harbison also said that he felt the ranking itself could be helpful in persuading prospective students who might see it. Claire Parson, freshman psychology major, said that the ranking would be beneficial when it comes to getting students’ attention as well.
“When you’re looking at schools, and you’re trying to decide who’s the best, that’s definitely something that would catch my eye,” Parson said.
Rachel Helmke, graduate student of psychology, said that she felt the ranking would appeal to students looking to get the most out of their education.
“There are some schools out there that maybe it’s online or it’s not really recognized as being accredited, and so when they see that somebody else recognizes that Emporia is a good school, they feel like they can get their money’s worth,” Helmke said.
The full list of universities, rankings and the methodology used in creating the list can be found on the U.S. News and World Report website.