Rankings and Polls

College rankings can provide useful information when used as a guide to finding the school which is the best fit for each student.

Rankings and guidebooks are based both on hard data, and on opinion. Ursinus is transparent about the information published about us. But please ask our Admission counselors if you have a question about a ranking or information.

Colleges That Change Lives

Ursinus is among 40 “Colleges that Change Lives,” in which colleges are cited for their ability to help students succeed. Originally written by the late Loren Pope, the book is now revised by Hilary Masell Oswald.

“Ursinus is a star of the first magnitude in the small galaxy of colleges that change lives,” the book says. “Each student has his or her own tale of transformation.”

The book notes a growth in students’ skills and self-confidence during their four years at Ursinus, and describes “how their aspirations rise, and how their perspectives broaden.” It praises Ursinus professors: “The dedication to teaching is legendary.” It declares that what Ursinus students have in common, “civility, character, and an eagerness to learn.”

The New York Times

Ursinus is among the top 50 schools in a recent New York Times rankings project based on our commitment to access. “The Most Economically Diverse Top Colleges” examines 100 top colleges and universities from across the United States that have four-year graduation rates of 75 percent or higher. Ursinus College is 32nd on this list, between Cornell and Princeton.

The editors created a “College Access Index” primarily based on two factors: the share of first-year students who are Pell grant recipients, and the net price of attendance for low- and middle-income families.

Unveiling the new ranking, the Times stated that “over the last decade, dozens of colleges have proclaimed that recruiting a more economically diverse student body was a top priority. Many of those colleges have not matched their words with actions. But some have.”

U.S. News Best Colleges

Ursinus is  once again listed as one of the nation’s six “Up and Coming” colleges among national liberal arts schools. This designation reflects colleges that have made the most promising and innovative changes in the areas of academics, faculty, student life, campus, or facilities.

Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Kiplinger’s Personal Finance has included Ursinus on its list of the country’s best values in private colleges. Kiplinger’s annual list provides best values in public and private universities and private liberal arts colleges. The 2015 lists represent the colleges that provide high-quality academics at a reasonable cost. The colleges, according to Kiplinger, “exemplify the attributes parents and students look for in higher education, including small class sizes, a good freshman retention rate and a high four-year graduation rate.”

Washington Monthly

Ursinus is included in the Washington Monthly special list of colleges which offer the Best Bang for the Buck. Ursinus is 51st out of 67 liberal arts schools which made this list. In addition to the magazine’s ranking of public good-based institutions, the “Bang for the Buck” list is based on economic value students receive per dollar

Ursinus is 139 out of 246 selected liberal arts colleges in the Washington Monthly rankings–it is 54th in the category “Service staff, courses and financial aid support,” and 83rdin “Community service participation and hours served.” The magazine states about its rankings:  “We rate schools based on their contribution to the public good in three broad categories: Social Mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students), Research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and PhDs), and Service (encouraging students to give something back to their country).”

Guide to Green Colleges

Ursinus has been included in  the The Princeton Review’s Guide to 332 Green Colleges (2014). The Princeton Review, in collaboration with the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), cites the most environmentally responsible “green colleges.” It notes that Ursinus has made “important strides” in campus sustainability practices, including recycling and waste-diversion, and ecofriendly food purchasing.” Several sustainability-related campus endeavors began as student projects such as the organic farm, a constructed wetland ecosystem and an on-campus bike sharing program.

Fiske Guide to Colleges

The Fiske 2016 guide notes Ursinus’s “attention from faculty.” “At Ursinus you can truly make a name for yourself,” a sophomore says. The Fiske Guide notes that “professors draw praise for their skills in the classroom.” ”Ursinus is on the rise,” it says. “Ursinus allows students to be themselves and appreciates them for their uniqueness and diversity of passions and interests.”

The Princeton Review

The Princeton Review cites Ursinus as one of the country’s best colleges for undergraduate education, for its academic rigor and campus culture, in its 2015 edition of “The Best 379 Colleges.” Only 15 percent of America’s 2,500 four-year colleges are profiled in the guide. Based on student response, the Princeton Review describes Ursinus as a “close-knit college community” which “offers an exceptional academic record.” It notes accessible professors and a focus on community service.

The Yale Daily News Guide

The Yale editors say that Ursinus is “known for the close relationships between faculty and students,” developed from the first days of The Common Intellectual Experience, the required freshman course. “This liberal studies seminar epitomizes the value that the staff at Ursinus puts on the development of conversational skills and well-roundedness of its students.”


Ursinus is included in the top 200 (193) of Forbes’ best 650 colleges. The rankings are based on five categories which include postgraduate success based on alumni pay and prominence; student satisfaction based on professor evaluations and freshman-to-sophomore retention rates; debt, which penalizes schools for high student debt loads and default rates; four-year graduation rates; and academic success, which rewards schools whose students win prestigious scholarships and fellowships.