This year, Millersville University rose to the top of the rankings for the category of Best Universities-Master’s in the North region.

U.S. News & World Report announced on August 20, 2009 its annual college rankings issued for 2010.

Millersville University ranked 54 among the tier one schools in this category; which is an improvement from last year’s ranking of 58.

This ranking was the highest among all Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) universities. Other Tier 1 PASSHE schools that made the list are, Bloomsburg ranking at 74, Shippensburg at 77 and West Chester at 81.

The purpose of the rankings is to offer students at a glance information that will assist in choosing a university. The ranking system offers  the opportunity to compare the quality of institutions based on a number of indicators, including: the atmosphere of the campus, activities, sports, academic offerings, location, cost and financial aid availability.

There are many detailed factors that go into calculating the college rankings. U.S. News looks for colleges that exemplify eight types of academic programs that are proven to enhance learning: first-year experiences, learning communities, writing in the disciplines, senior capstone, study abroad, internships or cooperative education, opportunities for undergraduate research, and service learning. For the first time, the rankings highlighted schools that were recognized for demonstrating a strong commitment to teaching.

The indicators used to measure academic quality are based on a weighted system. The greatest weight is peer assessment, counting at 25 percent of the vote. The news ranking formula finds the opinions of those in a position to judge the schools academic excellence to be most important. This is done by surveys completed by presidents, provosts and deans of admission. Each individual must rate the academic on a five point scale, marginal to distinguished.

Retention is worth twenty percent in national universities. This category looks for the percentage of returning freshman, as well as if there is an suitable amount offered classes which students need to be successful.

Faculty resources count for 20 percent, meaning that the more  available professors are to their students, the more the students will succeed.

Student selectivity counts for 15 percent, financial resources count for 10 percent, graduation rate performance counts for five percent as well as alumni giving rate.
This ranking is something to be celebrated.