Niagara University once again moved up in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey of “America’s Best Colleges.” Niagara scored in the top third of Regional Universities in the North. In addition to scoring in the top third in the overall ranking, Niagara is also featured as a “Best Value,” “A+ Schools for B Students,” “Best for Veterans,” and “Best Foreign Student Factor.”
“We are pleased that the excellent quality of Niagara University’s academic programs and our commitment to affordability and accessibility continue to be praised by U.S. News & World Report and other ranking publications,” said the Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., president of Niagara University. “Continuing to be included on these types of lists is a testament to our faculty, staff, and administrators, and another step toward our vision of becoming one of the best comprehensive universities in the region.”
Niagara University’s commitment to academic excellence and student outcomes, which is driven by its strategic plan, has led to its jump in the U.S. News rankings. The university was listed in the top half of ranked colleges and universities in the 2013 rankings and has climbed to the top third of all institutions in the north, powered by factors focused on the student academic experience and student success. Since 2014-15, the university has intentionally increased the proportion of small classes (fewer than 20 students) from 51 to 57 percent, increased the freshman to sophomore retention rate from 81 to 84 percent, and increased the six-year graduation rate from 65 to 68 percent. Each of these student success indicators are part of the U.S. News ranking methodology.
NU is also once again listed among the regional institutions deemed a “Best Value,” a calculation that takes into account a school’s academic quality and the 2014-15 net cost of attendance for a student who received the average level of need-based financial aid. Niagara is ranked in the top 15 percent of schools listed in the category.
Best Foreign Student Factor
In the listing of “Best Foreign Student Factor,” Niagara ranks third in the “regional universities – north,” and is the only local institution included in this ranking group.
A+ Schools for B Students
For the first time, Niagara is listed among the schools noted as “A+ Schools for B Students,” which highlights schools that admit a good proportion of “non-A” students (based on SAT/ACT scores and class standing) and support them in a way that translates into academic success at the university level.
Best Colleges for Veterans
Niagara University is once again listed as a “Best College for Veterans,” which indicates institutions that participate in federal initiatives helping veterans and active-duty service members pay for their degrees. Niagara has also recently been recognized by Victory Media (one of the country’s top 10 small private schools for American military veterans and their families) and College Choice (“50 Best Colleges for Veterans”) for its work with veteran students.
The new edition provides data on more than 1,800 colleges and universities, including nearly 1,400 ranked institutions. It weighed factors such as graduation and retention rates, class sizes, admissions test scores, and per-student spending on instruction, research, and student services. It also asked high school guidance counselors and administrators of peer schools to rate schools’ academic programs.
Founded by the Vincentian community in 1856, Niagara University is a comprehensive institution, blending the best of a liberal arts and professional education, grounded in our values-based Catholic tradition. Its colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business Administration, Education, and Hospitality and Tourism Management offer programs at the baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral level.
As the first Vincentian university established in the United States, Niagara prepares students for personal and professional success while emphasizing service to the community in honor of St. Vincent de Paul. Niagara’s institutional commitment to service-learning has led to its inclusion on the President’s Honor Roll for Community Service every year since its inception in 2006, and its recognition with the Carnegie Foundation’s Classification for Community Engagement.