Webster University Earns Its Highest U.S. News Ranking

Sep. 9, 2019

Webster University Earns Highest US News RankingST. LOUIS - Webster University rose six places and earned its best ranking ever in the “2020 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges” report, it was announced this morning. The national magazine also recognized Webster for numerous other categories, ranging from the services and financial aid it offers students to the resources provided to faculty.

This is just the latest in national accolades for the private non-profit institution, as Webster has been named as a top university by several other ranking services.

“As Webster University faculty and staff maintain our historic focus on meeting students’ unmet needs, I am proud that the quality of a Webster education merits this external validation and recognition,” said Webster University President Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble. “I am grateful for this university community’s dedication to Webster students here in St. Louis, across the country, and internationally.”

U.S. News & World Report

Webster University jumped six places in the annual U.S. News & World Report 2020 “Best Colleges” rankings. Webster’s rank of 17th in the Midwest Regional University category represents a rise of 16 places for Webster in just over a decade, earning its highest rank and highest total score since the annual survey began in 1983. Last year, Webster was ranked 23rd.

The Midwest Regional University category includes all universities in Missouri, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota that offer undergraduate and graduate degrees, but “few” or no doctoral programs. U.S. News & World Report included 168 of those institutions in this year’s Midwest ranking.

Out of all the Missouri institutions in the Midwest Regional University category, Webster was ranked first in St. Louis and third in the state.

The record-high listing was not the only good news for Webster in this year’s U.S. News & World Report list. Webster’s peer assessment in the ranking is 2.9, tying the all-time high assessment score set in 2006. The peer assessment score is based on a scale of 1-5 and is calculated from a survey of presidents, provosts and admissions officials at other peer institutions about the reputation of other institutions. The increase is a sign of Webster’s growing reputation among educational leaders.

'Top Performer on Social Mobility'

Webster was recognized in a new category on this year’s national list - Social Mobility. U.S. News & World Report reviewed the graduation rates of Pell Grant recipients to non-Pell Grant recipients to determine which institutions to include in this new category. Pell Grants are federal grants awarded to students from households that earn less than the national average income. This allows the ranking service to measure how students from less affluent households perform when compared to those from wealthier homes. Traditionally, lower-income students have significantly higher drop-out rates due to the financial challenges they face. At Webster, Pell Grant students graduate at a rate nearly equal to non-Pell students.

Webster also was recognized by U.S. News & World Report in the following categories using feedback from experts collected in the Peer Assessment survey:

  • Best Value – Webster is recognized in this category for balancing the net cost of attendance, need-based financial aid, and above-average academics. More than 90 percent of all Webster undergraduates receive some form of financial aid.
  • Study Abroad – Webster was one of only 56 out of 1,500 institutions placed on this list. This is the 12th time Webster has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report for its study abroad programs since 2003.
  • Best Colleges for Veterans – Webster is recognized for the seventh consecutive year as being an institution that helps veterans and active duty service members pursue, pay for, and complete their degrees. Nearly one-fifth of all of Webster’s students are current services members, military veterans or children of current and former service members.
  • A+ Schools for B Students – Webster is recognized as being an institution that enrolls a freshman class of students with a range of academic preparedness yet retains more than 75 percent of its students to the second year. Webster was one of only 35 institutions in the Regional Midwest category to receive this recognition.

Webster also was included on the following lists, based on national data and other measurable metrics collected by U.S. News & World Report:

  • Faculty Resources – Webster was ranked first in the Midwest category for a composite of several variables including student/teacher ratio, compensation, and the percentage of faculty who are full-time.
  • Economic Diversity – Webster was ranked in fourth place among the top 25 universities in the Midwest category. At Webster, about 38 percent of all undergraduates receive Pell Grants.
  • Campus Ethnic Diversity: Webster was listed in 43rd place among all the universities in the Midwest category.
  • Least Debt, Class of 2018 – Webster moved from 46th to 26th among the 168 institutions that were ranked in the Midwest category. The average debt load of a Webster undergraduate upon graduation is $27,211, less than the national average of about $37,000. The average loan repayment rate of a Webster undergraduate is 95.4 percent, higher than the national average of about 89 percent.
  • Other lists include Faculty Compensation, Average Freshmen Retention Rate, Most International Students, and Highest Proportion of Classes with Fewer Than 20 Students.

“The newest rankings of Webster University validate our continuous efforts to provide the best educational experiences to our students. The data reveal that our collective efforts make a visible impact on our students,” said Julian Schuster, Webster University’s provost, senior vice president and chief operating officer. “At Webster students receive a superior academic experience and build the foundation for their success after graduation.”

The complete U.S. News & World Report rankings can be found online at https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges.

Washington Monthly: 'Best Bang for Your Buck'

Washington Monthly magazine released its college and university rankings last week and listed Webster as among the best institutions in the nation in several categories:

  • Best four-year colleges: master’s level institutions. Out of the 606 masters-level institutions included in this year’s list, Webster ranked 269th overall in the country for best schools to attend for a master’s degree. Overall, Webster was ranked by Washington Monthly as the second-best university in Missouri for master’s degree, and the 17th best in the Midwest.
  • Washington Monthly placed Webster on its “Best Bang for Your Buck: Midwest Region (Social Mobility Ranking)” list. Webster was ranked as the 11th best institution in Missouri for social mobility (out of 37 state institutions) and as the 13th best among all its regional peers in the Midwest. For this list, Washington Monthly compared the post-graduation income of students who received Pell Grants to students who came from more affluent families, and determined which schools had the most positive impact on Pell Grant recipients.

The Washington Monthly rankings can be found at https://washingtonmonthly.com/2019college-guide.

Throughout the year, Webster is continually ranked by other organizations for the quality of its programs and post-graduation success. A listing of many of Webster’s successes can be found online here.

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