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LSU Remains in the Top Tier in U.S. News & World Report Rankings

LSU is the only public university in Louisiana ranked in the top tier

America's Best Colleges


To rank colleges and universities, U.S. News first assigns schools to a group of their peers, based on the basic categories developed by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in 2006. Those in the National Universities group are the 262 American universities (164 public and 98 private) that offer a wide range of undergraduate majors as well as master’s and doctoral degrees; some emphasize research. More

BATON ROUGE –As students begin moving back to LSU for the start of the fall semester, they are once again setting foot on a top tier university’s campus. For the second year in a row, LSU is ranked in the first tier for “Best National Universities” in U.S. News & World Report’s 2010 edition of America’s Best Colleges.

LSU’s business and engineering programs are also ranked by U.S. News & World Report. The LSU E. J. Ourso College of Business moved up from being ranked 74 last year to 57 this year in the Best Undergraduate Business Programs ranking. The LSU College of Engineering moved up from being ranked 86 last year to 85 this year in the Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs ranking.

It should be noted that these rankings are based on 2008 data and information and do not reflect the recent budgets cuts for LSU. Those cuts will be reflected in next year’s list.

“We are excited about being in the top tier of U.S. News & World Report’s rankings,” LSU Chancellor Michael Martin said. “This again proves what the faculty, staff and students here already know, that LSU is one of the top universities in the nation. As Louisiana’s Flagship University, being ranked in the top tier not only brings recognition to our institution but to the state as a whole. We commend our peers and U.S. News for taking note of the great things being accomplished on our campus.”

In its report, the magazine ranks LSU 128th among 262 American public and private universities in the United States. LSU ranks 64th overall when compared to public universities only. LSU is the only public university in Louisiana ranked in the top tier.

“We are elated but not surprised to find LSU once again in the top tier of American universities, as reported by U.S. News & World Report,” said LSU Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Astrid Merget. “Our national standing among the best universities in the country is not only a tribute to the impressive academic achievements of our faculty, students and staff; it is also a point of pride for our alumni and friends, as our ambassadors championing LSU as among the nation’s best in all its accomplishments.”

In the past five years, LSU has seen improvement in a number of areas that the U.S. News & World Report Rankings take into consideration, including LSU’s graduation rate, which has risen from 57.5 percent in 2004 to 60.7 percent in 2008, and incoming freshmen ACT scores, which have increased from 24.5 in 2004 to 25.3 in 2008.

According to U.S. News & World Report, the indicators used to capture academic quality of universities fall into seven categories: assessment by administrators at peer institutions, retention of students, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving and “graduation rate performance,” or the difference between the proportion of students expected to graduate and the proportion who actually do. These indicators include input measures that reflect a school’s student body, its faculty and its financial resources, along with outcome measures that signal how well the institution does its job of educating students.

While LSU has worked to improve in the student and faculty performance categories, other categories, such as financial resources, are often out of the university’s control.

“While next year’s rankings will reflect the budget cuts in the financial resources category, an increase in alumni giving, for example, may help offset that potentially negative impact,” Martin said.

Over the past 26 years, the U.S. Newscollege rankings, which groups schools based on categories created by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, has grown to be one of the most comprehensive research tools for students and parents considering higher education opportunities.

Highlights of the college rankings will be published in the September 2009 issue of U.S. News & World Report, available for newsstand purchase Monday, Aug. 24. The 2010 America’s Best Colleges guidebook will be available as of Tuesday, Aug. 25.

For more information about America’s Best Colleges, visit To access the Premium Online Edition for a fee, visit

Ernie Ballard | Editor | Office of Communications & University Relations
August 2009