U.S. News & World Report has taken notice of Colorado State University’s massive investments in infrastructure and student success, boosting Colorado’s land-grant university three spots in its annual rankings.
CSU is No. 58 among public universities in the 2018 U.S. News & Report Best Colleges rankings and has climbed nine spots since 2012. CSU has invested $1.4 billion in campus infrastructure in this decade, including new teaching and research facilities such as chemistry research, biology, behavioral sciences and the Suzanne and Walter Scott, Jr. Bioengineering Building. Projects underway include the C. Wayne McIlwraith Translational Medicine Institute, Michael Smith Natural Resources Building, Richardson Design Center, and the Global Food Innovation Center in honor of Gary and Kay Smith.
While investing in its infrastructure, CSU has maintained its commitment to sustainability. The university is the first in the world to have its sustainability efforts go Platinum — twice. CSU received the highest possible STARS rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education for the second time in 2017.
Student Retention and Alumni Giving
CSU has also excelled in first-year student retention and alumni giving. CSU continues to buck national trends with significant increases in both alumni fundraising participation and total number of donors. The university, bolstered by a record of 42,115 donors, including a record of more than 18,000 alumni, raised $190 million in private support in the 2016-17 fiscal year, the second year in a row in which CSU has raised over $190 million in private support.
The university’s student retention rate is supported by programs such as the Collaborative for Student Achievement and the Academic Advancement Center, which help students achieve academic success. Numerous campus learning communities, which provide students with supportive, academics-focused environments, have been tremendously successful in helping students progress toward graduation.
Since CSU implemented its student success initiatives in 2007, the university has reached historic highs in retention rates among first-year freshmen and transfer students, and historic highs in four-, five- and six-year graduation rates. Additionally, the university has reduced graduation gaps for first-generation, low-income and students from under-represented groups.
“This is a great acknowledgment of how hard our faculty and staff have worked to improve student success and deliver a dynamic learning experience,” Colorado State President Tony Frank said. “While we appreciate the recognition, rankings are only one measure of whether CSU is fulfilling its commitment to the people of Colorado. We’re far more proud to be able to say that our students graduate with the knowledge, skills, and experience to contribute to our world in meaningful ways. That, more than any ranking, is what really counts, and it’s an area in which CSU does particularly well.”
Best Value School
While providing an outstanding educational experience, CSU also offers one of the best economic values in the country. U.S. News lists CSU as one of the top Best Value Schools, based on academic quality and cost of attendance.
A Focus on Student Success
U.S. News highlights schools with outstanding examples of eight programs that education experts, including staff members of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, agree are key. College presidents, chief academic officers, and deans of admissions were invited to nominate institutions with stellar examples of each.
CSU, along with Harvard, Princeton, Stanford and Yale, is among only a handful of universities recognized for Writing in the Disciplines. These colleges make writing a priority at all levels of instruction and across the curriculum. Students are encouraged to produce and refine various forms of writing for a range of audiences in different disciplines.
The magazine included CSU on its list of A-plus schools for students who want to be part of a university with a broad, engaged student body while displaying their individuality and seriousness of purpose.
U.S. News noted in its summary that CSU is considered “one of the leading research universities, and faculty and students work together to explore fields such as atmospheric science, infectious diseases, clean energy technologies and environmental science.”
The full ranking and methodology can be found at https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges.
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