Biomedical engineering specialty is No. 5 nationally
Rice University is ranked among the top 20 national universities and among the top 10 best values in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges 2015.”
In the new edition of the college guide published today, Rice is ranked No. 19 — the highest in Texas — among 280 national universities that offer a wide range of undergraduate majors and master’s and doctoral degrees and that may have a strong emphasis on research. Last year Rice was tied for No. 18, and it has remained in the top 20 since first appearing in the U.S. News rankings in 1988. Like last year, Princeton remains No. 1.
Multiple key measures of quality are evaluated for the rankings: graduation and retention rates, assessment of excellence by academic peers and high school guidance counselors, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, percentage of alumni giving and graduation rate performance — the difference between actual and predicted graduation rates. U.S. News weighs these variables differently to calculate an overall score for each school.
In a separate ranking of “Great Schools, Great Prices,” Rice is No. 9 among national universities. These best-value schools were determined by academic quality, as reflected by a high ranking from U.S. News, and the 2013-14 net cost of attendance for a student who received the average level of need-based financial aid.
Rice was also singled out on a list of 32 schools noted for offering outstanding undergraduate research/creative projects that allow students mentored by a faculty member to do intensive and self-directed research independently or in small teams. College presidents, chief academic officers and deans of admissions were invited to nominate up to 10 stellar schools, and schools that were named the most often made the list (in alphabetical order rather than a ranking).
Rice made several other lists in the new U.S. News college guide:
* Among undergraduate engineering programs whose highest degree is a doctorate, Rice has the No. 5 biomedical engineering specialty, and Rice’s George R. Brown School of Engineering is tied for No. 18 with Duke University, Pennsylvania State University-University Park and University of California-Los Angeles.
* Rice is tied for No. 7 with Massachusetts Institute of Technology on the list of national universities demonstrating economic diversity, as determined by the percentage of undergraduates receiving federal Pell Grants. Eighteen percent of students at Rice received Pell Grants, which are awarded to low-income students.
* Rice is No. 11 on the list of national universities whose students graduate with the least debt and No. 8 among private universities on the list.
* Rice and six other schools are tied for No. 22 on the list of top picks by high school counselors, whose opinions are factored separately from the ratings by college admissions deans, provosts and presidents as part of the academic assessment.
For more on the U.S. News rankings, visit www.usnews.com/colleges.