Ursinus Moves Up in U.S. News National Ranks

Ursinus College has again been recognized as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, coming in 82nd on the annual list. It was also named a top innovative college.

U.S. News annually provides numerical rankings and lists to help prospective students narrow their college search. The rankings evaluate colleges and universities on 16 measures of academic quality, including outcomes, graduation and retention rates, peer assessment and more.

Ursinus’s 2020 rankings mark an eight-spot improvement from 2019 (90th) and a 13-spot jump over the past four years.

“I am immensely proud of our college and all of the people who have contributed to our being recognized by our peers as one of the very best liberal arts colleges in the nation,” Ursinus President Brock Blomberg said. “As I’ve said before, we’re riding incredible momentum. We’ve improved our standing four consecutive years, which I think reflects the hard work of our faculty and staff in creating unparalleled learning experiences for all of our students.”

“This is an outstanding accomplishment, especially considering the tumultuous higher education landscape,” Blomberg added. “And it’s coinciding with the college’s 150th anniversary celebration and the final stretch of a successful $100 million comprehensive campaign. We should be proud of what we continue to achieve as a leader in the liberal arts, especially for innovating our curriculum and focusing so well on the student experience.”

U.S. News also recognized Ursinus among national liberal arts colleges on four other special lists, including Most Innovative Schools (27th). This category is based solely on answers provided by presidents, provosts and admission deans, each of whom identified colleges they believe are making the “most innovative improvements in terms of curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology or facilities.”

It also ranked Ursinus for Undergraduate Teaching (51st), which considers high-quality teaching of undergraduate students; Best Value Schools (77th); and Social Mobility (99th), which measures graduation rate for Pell students.

This year, Ursinus earned national recognition in Inside Higher Ed for its Quest: Open Questions Open Minds core curriculum. Quest frames the Ursinus experience around four questions that lead to a more transformative personal experience and capitalizes on a residential liberal education in ways that haven’t been done before at any institution.

Additionally, a new highly engaged enrollment strategy that includes personalized, hands-on recruitment efforts led Ursinus to enroll one of the largest and most academically talented classes in its history. The Institute for Student Success broadened the college’s retention efforts. The Innovation and Discovery Center opened, blending science, policy and entrepreneurship for a truly cross-disciplinary learning experience; and the Commons is opening in early 2020 as the new welcoming gateway to the campus and a hub for social activity for students and the surrounding community.

Ursinus shares the no. 82 ranking with six other schools: Allegheny College (Pennsylvania); Beloit College (Wisconsin); College of St. Benedict (Minnesota); College of the Atlantic (Maine); Juniata College (Pennsylvania); and Wheaton College (Massachusetts).

The U.S. News ranking is just the latest national accolade Ursinus has earned this year. The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education rankings list Ursinus 172nd among 800 colleges and universities, a two-spot improvement; and Washington Monthly ranked Ursinus 76th among national liberal arts colleges (up from 89th in 2018).

In August, the Princeton Review, a leading tutoring, test prep and college admission services company, included Ursinus among its top 385 colleges in the country while also naming it one of the best institutions in the northeast and among its top green colleges. The Princeton Review doesn’t numerically rank the colleges.