KSU falls in national ranking

Alicia Balog

Kent State University dropped to the second tier, or bottom 25 percent, for the first time in two years on the U.S. News and World Report’s 2013 Best Colleges list released Wednesday.

The university placed at no. 194 out of 281 on last year’s 2012 National University Rankings, but this year, Kent State received the label “rank not published” — meaning it fell below the top 200 mark.

To rank the institutions, U.S. News and World Report sends surveys to accredited four-year universities with various weighted measures. Analysts then determine the most important qualities and emphasize those measure — like graduate rates — according to the report’s website.

Eric Mansfield, executive director of University Media Relations, said Kent State uses its own data — including enrollment and graduation rates, as well as the progress on campus — to determine that the university is heading in the right direction. He said the university will not let a poll distract it from educating students.

“Our primary focus is on educating the students, hiring outstanding faculty members and giving them the tools that they need to put together great classes,” Mansfield said. “And then helping our students reach the finish line, which is graduation, and then heading off to great careers. That’s where our focus is, and we won’t let a magazine distract us whether we score higher or lower year in and year out.”

Josie Condon, senior psychology and sociology major, said she was surprised by the ranking and found it very interesting. She looked at the list before she decided to come to Kent State, but she said it wasn’t a deciding factor.

“I think it might be important to some people, but there are other reasons people choose Kent State,” Condon said. “For instance, I didn’t choose Kent State because of its ranking. I chose because of the programs and the prices of classes and things like that.”

U.S. News and World Report creates different lists to rank universities, like National Universities, National Liberal Arts Colleges, Regional Universities, Regional Colleges, Best Undergraduate Teaching and Best Undergraduate Business Programs.

According to its website, national universities are universities that “offer a full range of undergraduate majors as well as master’s and doctoral degrees” and receive funding for and place emphasis on research.

Contact Alicia Balog at [email protected].