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Best Colleges Ranking

JU achieves highest-ever Best Colleges ranking

Jacksonville University achieved its highest ranking in school history in U.S. News & World Report’s annual Best Colleges Rankings, jumping nearly 30 spots to place 28th among 136 schools in the Regional Universities South category.

Jacksonville University also improved its positions in the Best Colleges for Veterans and Best Value Schools rankings demonstrating how the university’s focus on the future is paying present dividends.

“We believe in innovation that leads to growth, not status quo,” says University President Tim Cost ‘81. “These recognitions are evidence of a culture where students get the individualized attention they need, while being challenged to stretch themselves in pursuit of excellence.”

U.S. News & World Report, which released its results on Monday, Sept. 9, also ranked Jacksonville University:

  • 16 (38 last year) in Best Colleges for Veterans
  • 38 (48 last year) in Best Value Schools
  • 42 in Best Online Nursing Graduate Programs

JU also made the list of Best Nursing Schools for its Doctor of Nursing Practice and Master of Nursing programs, and the JU Speech-Language Pathology program was recognized among the best in the region.

In recent years, the University has launched initiatives to improve the student experience and expand educational opportunities, which the rankings reflect. These initiatives include:

  • Designating space specifically for military students and veterans, called Defender’s Den Student Veterans Center, which features a computer lab, dedicated study space, and a lounge area to make the education experience friendlier to the special needs and situations of veterans.
  • Launching more than 20 degree programs and certifications, including Master of Science in Healthcare Quality and Safety and Post-Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Quality and Safety programs in the Keigwin School of Nursing.
  • Launched the innovative Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) initiative to help students develop multiple skills, be more flexible, think in different ways, and be more creative. This will help students have multiple careers or set up their own businesses and become entrepreneurs.

U.S. News & World Report has published its college rankings for 35 years. This year, the outlet looked at 1,400 colleges and universities focusing on academic quality and measures including graduation rates, retention rates and social mobility.

For the first time, U.S. News factored graduation rates for first-generation college students into its ranking methodology and added a new ranking called Top Performers on Social Mobility. The new ranking “evaluates which schools best serve underrepresented students” and analyzes enrollment and graduation rates of low-income students with Pell Grants as a proxy. U.S. News named JU a top performer (9th) in social mobility.

U.S. News & World Report has ranked Jacksonville University among the top regional colleges or universities in the South each year since 2004.