PROVO — In its latest listings of colleges and universities across the country, U.S. News ranks Brigham Young University 61st overall among national universities and Salt Lake City’s Westminster College 19th among western regional universities.
U.S. News has offered its Best Colleges rankings for more than 30 years, with its 2018 version — released Monday night for prospective students planning for the 2018-19 school year — featuring overall and specific rankings, listings and extensive data for more than 1,800 colleges and universities.
Each institution is given its own web-page treatment, with segments providing an overview, rankings, and information on academics, student life, financial aid, campus safety and the application process.
Besides the overall ranking, BYU was ranked third in Accounting in the National Universities category, 11th in Best Value Schools, 75th (tie) in High School Counselor Rankings, and 82nd (tie) in Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs among those offering a doctorate degree.
BYU has been ranked in the top 100 national universities since 2000. Its 2018 ranking is up from No. 68 last year.
The rankings were based on points given quantitative and qualitative measures on 15 indicators in seven different, weighted measures. The seven include graduation and retention rates (22.5 percent), undergraduate academic reputation (22.5 percent), faculty resources (20 percent), student selectivity (12.5 percent), financial resources (10 percent), graduation rate performance (7.5 percent) and alumni giving rate (5 percent).
Five other colleges and universities tied with BYU for 61st place in the rankings with a score of 60 out of 100 possible points — Maryland, Fordham, Southern Methodist, Syracuse and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
Princeton University led the National University rankings with a perfect score of 100, followed by Harvard University (98). The University of Chicago (96) and Yale University (96) shared the No. 3 spot.
Rounding out the top 10 colleges and universities were Columbia, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford, Pennsylvania, Duke and California Institute of Technology.
BYU ranked just ahead of Clemson (59 points), Pittsburgh (58) and American University (57) and a five-way tie at 56 points between Rutgers, Texas A&M, Minnesota, Virginia Tech and Stevens Institute of Technology.
And BYU placed just behind another grouping of five universities tied at No. 56 with 61 points apiece — George Washington, Purdue, Connecticut, Texas and Washington.
As for the ranking of Utah’s instate institutions, two — the University of Utah and Utah State University — earned placement in the National Universities category. Utah-based Western Governors University was listed but unranked in the category
• University of Utah — With a score of 48 points, Utah ranked 110th (tie) in National Universities. Its top publicly visual ranking was a No. 51 ranking in Top Public Schools, but "locked" rankings only visible via a paid online subscription to see more information included a No. 45 ranking in Business Programs and a No. 27 in Entrepreneurship. Other rankings included No. 61 (tie) in Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs, No. 136 in Best Value Schools and No. 156 in High School Counselor Rankings.
• Utah State University — With a score of 28 points, USU ranked 216st (tie) in National Universities. Its highest ranking was No. 110 in Engineering Programs where the highest engineering decree is a doctorate as well as No. 122 (tie) in Top Public Schools, No. 183 (tie) in Business Programs and No. 209 (tie) in High School Counselor Rankings.
Listed in the Regional Universities West category:
• Westminster College ranked 19th (tie) overall, eighth in Best Value Schools and 12th (tie) in Best Colleges for Veterans.
• Southern Utah University was 76th (tie) overall as well as No. 25 (tie) in Top Public Schools and No. 147 (tie) in Engineering Programs where no doctorate degrees are offered.
• Weber State University ranked 86th (tie) overall as well as 31st in Top Public Schools, 74th (tie) in Engineering Programs (no doctorate) and 331st (tie) in Business Programs.
• Utah Valley University — UVU was unranked in the Regional universities West category, but it did receive a No. 169 (tie) ranking in Engineering Programs (no doctorate).
And in the Regional Colleges West category, Brigham Young University-Idaho ranked 13th overall and 38th in Engineering Programs (no doctorate), with Brigham Young University-Hawaii 18th overall. Dixie State and Snow College were unranked in the same category.
Besides the extensive information available on its site for each institution, U.S. News also offers a “College Compass” online subscription service — to dig deeper into more rankings and more information. It also offers a regular newsletter and a guidebook available for purchase.
Other publications — ranging from Money magazine to the Wall Street Journal — provide their own college rankings, as do a host of online sites.
Note: An earlier version of this report stated that BYU only recently broke into the top 100 national universities; however, a BYU official says a data in error in 2009 where BYU was incorrectly ranked ranked No. 113 in 2009 is the only time since 2000 when BYU hasn't been ranked among the top 100.