09/09/2014 09:36 AM
BATON ROUGE – In U.S. News & World Report’s 2015 edition of Best Colleges, LSU is
ranked in the top tier for “Best National Universities” and is ranked 63rd overall
among public universities.
“We’re pleased that the U.S. News & World Report has again recognized LSU’s excellence
by placing it in the top tier,” said LSU President and Chancellor F. King Alexander.
“However, the measures that indicate real value, such as tuition rates, levels of
student indebtedness and career outcomes, remain absent from the rankings.”
“This is troubling since we know that being transparent about the things that really
matter to families when it comes to choosing a university is what allows potential
students to make the best decision possible,” Alexander added.
When considering these value measures, LSU graduates are among the best in the country
with starting salaries of around $48,000 per year, which puts LSU’s graduates 33rd
overall among 150 public research universities. Further, mid-career earnings of LSU
graduates rank among the best in the country and above four-fifths of Southeastern
Conference schools at around $83,200.
LSU also provides students with a great start to their careers by helping to ensure
they graduate with little-to-no debt. The national average for students finishing
college with debt is 72 percent, while only about 35 percent of LSU graduates finish
“LSU’s tuition is 15 percent below our Southern peers, and our students carry 27 percent
less debt than the national average for public institutions. On top of that, our students
earn higher beginning and mid-career salaries than the vast majority of southern research
universities and more than half of the Big Ten institutions,” said Alexander. “In
other words, LSU students pay affordable tuition, accrue less debt and make higher
salaries than many of their peers, allowing them to start their professional lives
on the right foot.”
In the 2015 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges, LSU’s ranking in the “Best National Universities” category moved up to 129 overall from 135 in the previous rankings and is tied with five other schools: Arizona State University, Ohio University, University of Cincinnati, University of Kentucky and University of Utah. LSU’s public university rankings improved to 63 overall from 68 in the previous rankings.
The university also appeared on U.S. News & World Report’s list of “A-Plus Schools
for B Students,” and students from all backgrounds are being more successful than
ever before at LSU, with the groundbreaking class of 2014 graduating more African-American,
Hispanic and female students than ever before.
LSU’s value isn’t limited to the flagship campus. In “Payback Picture” rankings for
National Liberal Arts Colleges, U.S. News & World Report lists LSU of Alexandria among
the schools whose students finish college with the least amount of debt. LSUA’s students
ranked third on the list of least debt with an average of $12,547.
“Providing real graduate outcomes in an easy to access, transparent manner helps potential
students and their families make informed decisions and allow for better control cost
escalations by making it obvious to consumers which institutions leave students plagued
with massive debt and few employment prospects, and which institutions provide real
value with strong rates of return,” Alexander said.
Alexander is a supporter of the federal higher education rating system, and LSU is committed to providing exceptional, affordable and accessible higher
education, and sharing student outcomes in as transparent a manner as possible. The
university recently launched its “Value to Louisiana” accountability webpage to provide a snapshot of LSU’s student body, diversity, academic, economic composition,
and alumni starting- and mid-career salaries. For more information, visit http://sites01.lsu.edu/wp/accountability/.
In the U.S. News & World Report rankings, the indicators used to capture academic
quality of universities are graduation and retention rates; assessment by peers and
counselors; faculty resources; student selectivity; financial resources; graduation
rate performance, which is the difference between actual and predicted graduation
rates; and alumni giving.
These indicators are each weighted to arrive at a final overall score: graduation
and retention rates at 22.5 percent, undergraduate academic reputation at 22.5 percent,
faculty resources at 20 percent, student selectivity at 12.5 percent, financial resources
at 10 percent, graduation rate performance at 7.5 percent and alumni giving at 5 percent.
The National Universities category consists of the 280 institutions – 173 public,
100 private and seven for-profit – that offer a full range of undergraduate majors,
as well as master’s and Ph.D. programs, and some emphasize research. In this year’s
rankings, there are 202 schools listed in the top tier.
The 2015 edition of the Best Colleges book is available online at www.usnews.com/colleges.
Posted on Tuesday, September 9, 2014