AU lettering in front of campus arch

ASHLAND – Ashland University jumped nearly 50 spots to No. 35 in the 2023-24 Regional Universities (Midwest) rankings of the U.S. News & World Report’s highly-respected college rankings, released Monday. Ashland was also selected as a “Best College” again and earned four additional rankings on the publication’s distinctive lists.

Ashland was among the top 25% of the 167 institutions within the Regional Universities (Midwest) category, which U.S. News defines as those offering “a full range of undergraduate programs and some master’s programs, but few doctoral programs.” Last year, Ashland ranked 82nd.

Within the state of Ohio, Ashland came in seventh among Regional Universities, a six-spot improvement over last year.

U.S. News ranks 1,500 colleges and universities annually according to a set of widely accepted indicators of excellence, focused on academic reputation, cost of attendance and return on investment.

It made refinements to this year’s ranking formula, which uses a number of weighted measures, by increasing the emphasis on social mobility and including new data on graduate outcomes.

“We are thrilled to learn of this significant improvement in Ashland’s ranking and thankful that U.S. News has adjusted its methodology to more accurately reflect the value higher education can yield to all students.

“Ashland has long believed in a mission of providing a transformational learning experience that shapes graduates to serve and lead with integrity in their communities, and these rankings help confirm that we are doing just that,” stated Carlos Campo, president of Ashland University and Ashland Theological Seminary.

Ashland excelled in a series of U.S. News’ individual categories, including a trio of top-40 ratings among the Midwest Region:

 No. 27 in “Best Value Schools,” a 23-spot improvement over last year’s ranking. This category factors academic quality and net cost of attendance.

 No. 36 in “Best Colleges for Veterans,” which consists of top-ranked schools that participate in federal initiatives helping veterans and active-duty service members pay for their degrees.

 No. 40 in “Top Performers on Social Mobility,” a nine-spot improvement over last year’s ranking. This category measures how well schools enrolled and graduated students who received federal Pell Grants.

Nationally, Ashland was recognized for its nursing education. Its Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program within the Dwight Schar College of Nursing and Health Sciences received a “Best College” distinction, ranking 402nd overall in the U.S. after averaging a top score from surveys of leading academics and officials at nursing schools or departments.

The editors of U.S. News & World Report “Best Colleges” calculate their distinct rankings by grouping colleges and universities by their academic missions (national universities, national liberal arts colleges, regional universities, regional colleges).

Each school’s ranking is determined by factors such as peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, and graduation rate performance.

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I've lived in Richland County since 1990, married here, our children were born here. This is home. I have two books published on a passion topic, Ohio high school football. Others: Buckeyes, Cavs, Bengals,...