CCEE’s undergraduate civil engineering and environmental engineering programs continue to rank among the best in the nation, both claiming the No. 23 spot on U.S. News and World Report’s annual Best Colleges list.* NC State’s College of Engineering program ranked 33rd overall.
The Best Colleges list uses a set of 17 measures of academic quality to evaluate nearly 1,500 colleges and universities. Among all national institutions — public and private — NC State ranked 72nd in the nation, an increase of seven spots over 2021. Among public institutions, the university ranked 29th, gaining three spots over last year.
NC State’s peer assessment score, which measures the university’s reputation among leaders in higher education, ticked up this year to 3.3 out of 5, after holding at 3.2 for five years. That could be a sign that NC State’s “Think and Do” brand is starting to resonate across higher education. Reputation carries a lot of weight in the U.S. News rankings, accounting for 20% of a school’s overall score. Compared to other national colleges and universities, NC State ranked 80th in reputation this year, an improvement of 13 spots over last year.
Graduation and retention rates, which account for 22% of the ranking, have been on the rise at NC State for years, thanks largely to strategic investments in student success. In 2011, the six-year graduation rate was 79.5%. By 2015, that number had jumped over 5 percentage points, to 84.6%. The one-year retention rate rose from 91.1% in 2011 to 93.4% in 2020.
Selectivity, which accounts for 7% of the ranking, is also on the upswing at NC State, led by an increase in the average SAT scores of incoming students.
Graduate indebtedness, a measure of affordability that accounts for 5% of the ranking, has also improved in recent years. Graduating students now leave with an average of just over $20,000 in federal loans, down from nearly $22,000 in 2018.
NC State also ranked 41st for veterans, 52nd for innovation and 66th for value.
The only thing standing in the way of NC State’s continued rise in the U.S. News rankings is money. One-third of the score depends on financial resources, faculty resources and donor giving.
*Construction engineering programs are not ranked as part of the list because there are fewer than 20 programs in the U.S.
This post was originally published in NC State News.