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The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is listed among the top 389 colleges and universities in the nation in U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 edition of “Best Colleges.”
The annual guidebook assists prospective students and their parents in making decisions about which colleges to attend. The latest rankings assessed 1,452 four-year colleges and universities.
UL Lafayette was tied with a host of other schools at No. 154 in the public universities category, and No. 298 in the national universities category. National universities emphasize research and offer bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees.
U.S. News & World Report’s best national universities are based on the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. UL Lafayette is designated a doctorate-granting institution with the second-highest level of research activity.
Rankings are compiled based on many factors, including academic reputation, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student/faculty ratio, social mobility, ACT/SAT scores of admitted students and alumni giving.
“U.S. News & World Report’s recognition is representative of our learning environment, which attracts academically gifted students who are stimulated by challenging coursework delivered by dedicated faculty members,” said Dr. DeWayne Bowie, the University’s vice president for enrollment management.
The 2021 edition of “Best Colleges” publishes school profiles that provide information on academic life, application requirements and financial aid and tuition.
The guide also includes rankings in a range of categories.
UL Lafayette received high marks in many of them, including the top performer in the social mobility category (tied for No. 224).
Among academic programs, the University was recognized for best computer science programs (tied for No. 171); undergraduate engineering programs (tied for No. 181) and best business programs (tied for No. 273).
UL Lafayette graduate programs were recognized in several categories as well: speech-language pathology (tied for No. 82); computer science (tied for No. 133); nursing schools: doctor of nursing practice (tied for No. 133); nursing schools: masters (tied for No. 175); engineering schools (tied for No. 152); biological sciences (tied for No. 175), and education (tied for No. 196).
The part-time MBA program was tied at No. 194. All University MBA curriculums are the same, however, whether students are enrolled part-time, full-time or online.
Two departments in the College of Engineering were ranked for graduate programs – industrial engineering (tied for No. 90) and computer engineering (tied for No. 127).
Other University graduate programs and schools cited by U.S. News & World Report were business, English and mathematics.
The strong showing isn’t by chance, said Dr. Mary Farmer-Kaiser, dean of the Graduate School. It’s a result of the University’s ongoing commitment to graduate education. That commitment includes adding more graduate programs, and expanding existing programs.
The efforts are paying dividends.
Graduate school enrollment of 2,430 students for Fall 2020, in comparison to 1,521 students enrolled in Fall 2016, represents a 46% increase.
“Enrollment continues to grow because of strong retention, new program offerings, and expanded delivery options for programs that been available for years. Online, hybrid, and executive weekend formats, for example, are especially attractive to students seeking to balance graduate studies with work or family obligations, or for those who live away from Lafayette,” Farmer-Kaiser explained.
U.S. News & World Report recognized several of the University’s online programs: best online master’s in nursing programs (tied for No. 45); best online master’s in education programs (tied for No. 89); best online bachelor’s programs (tied for No. 106); and best online MBA programs (tied for No. 149).
Photo caption: The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is listed among the top 389 colleges and universities in the nation in U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 edition of “Best Colleges.” Photo credit: Doug Dugas / University of Louisiana at Lafayette