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U.S. News & World Report ranks University among 'best colleges'

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The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is listed among the top 381 colleges and universities in the nation in U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 edition of “Best Colleges.”

The annual guidebook for prospective college students was released Monday.

UL Lafayette was tied with a host of other schools at No. 293 in the national universities category. National universities emphasize research and offer bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees.

U.S. News and World Report’s best national universities are based on Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. UL Lafayette is categorized as a doctorate-granting institution with the second-highest level of research activity.

The rankings are compiled based on a range of factors, including graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, social mobility and alumni giving. Rankings are also based on factors such as ACT/SAT scores of admitted students, student/faculty ratios and graduation rates.

The 2020 edition of “Best Colleges” includes school profiles that provide information on academic life, application requirements, financial aid and tuition. The information is intended to help prospective students and their parents make choices about which colleges to attend.

In addition to its national rankings, the guidebook also includes rankings in a range of other categories.

UL Lafayette received high marks in many of them: best undergraduate engineering programs (tied for No. 170); top performers on social mobility (tied for No. 254) and best business programs (No. 292).

UL Lafayette graduate programs are lauded in several categories: speech-language pathology (tied for No. 81); computer science (tied for No. 133); education (tied for No. 134); best nursing schools: doctor of nursing practice (tied for No. 143); best nursing schools: masters (tied for No. 156); best engineering schools (tied for No. 156); and biological sciences (tied for No. 175).

Other University graduate programs and schools cited are: business, chemical engineering, English and mathematics.

The strong showing of University graduate programs can be partly attributed to a focus on adding programs and increasing ways to make those programs more accessible, including online options, said Mary Farmer-Kaiser, dean of the Graduate School.

“An important part of that growth is to make our programs more accessible to all students, including not only for working professionals and part-time students, but also full-time students in our research areas,” Farmer-Kaiser said.

Several of its online programs are recognized: best online graduate nursing programs (tied for No. 65); best online bachelor’s programs (tied for No. 114); best online MBA programs (tied for No. 153) and best online graduate education programs (tied for No. 166).

Photo credit: Doug Dugas / University of Louisiana at Lafayette