On Friday, we learned that our university’s position in the US News & World Report’s rankings was not accurate because the publication calculated our ranking using historical and in some cases no data in several categories, as opposed to using accurate, current data.
Specifically, we learned that, several months ago, the publication sent its annual request for data from Ball State University to two people who were no longer employed at the university when the survey was sent. As a result, we did not fill out the publication’s survey, which we have routinely done for many years.
The university would have done so again this year, because we are proud of the progress that we continue to make, and because we know that prospective students and their families often refer to published rankings when determining where to pursue their educational aspirations.
If the university had been able to submit our data, we are confident that we would have maintained our historically strong position in the publication’s rankings among the top public and private colleges and universities in the country.
For nearly a decade, Ball State University has maintained a consistently steady ranking in this category. In fact, as the publication has added more institutions to this category in recent years, our university’s ranking has steadily improved from the 32nd percentile to the 50th percentile.
Moreover, it’s quite possible that our ranking would have improved this year:
- Our six-year graduation rate increased five percentage points.
- Our six-year graduation rate for Pell grant recipients improved by three percentage points. Due to the missing data for this metric, our social mobility ranking declined from 53 to 191.
- And for the Fall 2019 freshman cohort, we presently project that our retention rate will increase by six percentage points.
- The percentage of Ball State’s faculty who are full time has steadily increased over the past three years.
We are disappointed that we were not able to submit actual data this year. We look forward to next year’s publication, which will more accurately reflect our achievements and relative standing among the best colleges and universities in the United States.