U.S. News Again Ranks BSU Among Region’s Top 25 Public Universities

Bemidji State University has received its highest ranking in the annual U.S. News and World Report America’s Best Colleges survey in the last six years. For a second consecutive year, it is tied for 22nd amongst the region’s top public universities.

Bemidji State has also climbed to tie for 92nd overall in the survey’s list of colleges and universities in the Midwest Region and is ranked 33rd as a top performer on social mobility among regional Midwest universities. BSU climbed 2 places in rankings, released by U.S. News & World Report on Sept. 9, from a year ago, when the survey ranked it in a tie for 94th in the region.  BSU was recognized for the first time for advancing social mobility by enrolling and graduating large proportions of disadvantaged students awarded with Pell Grants.

BSU has appeared on the U.S. News list of the Midwest region’s top colleges and universities each year since 2009. U.S. News & World Report’s rankings categorize schools based on mission according to classifications developed by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and, in some cases, by geography.

Bemidji State is listed as a regional university in the Midwest region. Regional universities offer a full range of undergrad programs with some master’s programs but few if any, doctoral programs. The Midwest region includes institutions in North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.

U.S. News & World Report began publishing college rankings in 1983. America’s Best Colleges 2020 is online now and the print version will be available on newsstands later this month.


The U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankings evaluate schools on hundreds of data points using up to 16 measures of academic quality. U.S. News updated the Best Colleges methodology to further emphasize student outcomes, which hold the most weight at 35 percent. Through this update, U.S. News is measuring how well schools support low-income students through graduation. The rankings incorporate factors measuring the graduation rate of a school’s federal Pell Grant recipients and the differences, if any, in graduation rates of Pell Grant recipients compared to non-Pell students.

U.S. News eliminated acceptance rates as a determining factor altogether in order to place more importance on outcome measurements — which now account for 35 percent of a school’s overall score, up from 30 percent a year ago. In addition, a variety of other factors were reduced in importance, including expert opinions and ACT/SAT scores.

A complete explanation of the publication’s methodology for determining school rankings is available on its website.