Rice U. is again ranked No. 17 among nation

Rice U. is again ranked No. 17 among nation’s best colleges

Rice News staff

For the eighth year in a row, Rice University is ranked No. 17 in U.S. News & World Report’s guide to America’s best colleges.

In the 2012 edition of “Best Colleges,” Rice is tied with Vanderbilt University for 17th among 280 schools classified as national universities — schools that offer a full range of undergraduate majors and master’s and doctoral degrees, including institutions that have a strong emphasis on research, as Rice does. Harvard and Princeton are tied for No. 1.

The rankings are based on academic quality, as measured by peer assessment, retention and graduation rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving, high school counselor ratings of colleges and the graduation rate performance – the difference between actual and predicted graduation rates.

In addition to placing among the nation’s top 20 schools, Rice appeared on several other lists in “Best Colleges.”

Rice is No. 16 on the list of best-value schools, which were selected on the basis of academic quality and the net cost of attendance for a student who receives the average level of need-based financial aid.

On the list of high school counselors’ top picks, Rice was tied for No. 22 with three other schools. U.S. News counts high school guidance counselors’ opinions as part of the academic reputation measure for national universities, along with ratings by college admissions officers, provosts and presidents.

Rice is ranked No. 9 among national universities whose students graduate with the least debt.

On the list of national universities demonstrating economic diversity, as determined by the percentage of undergraduates receiving federal Pell grants, Rice’s 15 percent was the 12th highest. Pell grants are awarded to low-income students.

Rice also appeared on the list of top 20 national universities with a high proportion of racial and ethnic diversity (0.67 percent on a scale in which 1 represents a more diverse student population).

Among the best undergraduate engineering programs whose highest degree is a doctorate, Rice’s George R. Brown School of Engineering is in a three-way tie for No. 17 – up from No. 19 last year — with Texas A&M University-College Station and Pennsylvania State University-University Park.

Rice’s biomedical engineering was ranked No. 6, an improvement from last year when it was in a three-way tie for No. 6.

For more on the U.S. News rankings, visit www.usnews.com/colleges.

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