ULM included in national universities list

Olivia Barfield

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For the first time ever, ULM has been included on the U.S. News and World Report list of national universities. The university is listed under “rank not published” (RNP).

U.S. News & World Report defines a national university as an institution which offers a full range of undergraduate majors as well as master’s and doctoral degrees. Universities included on U.S. News’ “National Universities Rankings” list qualify based on whether or not they fit this definition.

Not all universities that qualify to be on the list are given a ranking. ULM was not ranked.

Schools marked as RNP are referred to as “unranked,” according to U.S. News. Unranked schools are not assigned a numerical rank because they did not qualify for a high enough ranking.

“Schools marked as unranked are listed alphabetically and are listed below those marked as Rank Not Published,” says the site.

Joining ULM on the list as an national RNP school is the University of Louisiana Lafayette. Nationally ranked Louisiana schools include Louisiana Tech University in a tie for number 202, Louisiana State University tied for number 135 and Tulane University with a tie for number 39. Tulane is the highest ranking Louisiana university.

Graduation and retention rates, alumni giving, faculty resources, academic reputation, student selectivity and financial resources are some of the categories that U.S. News bases it’s university rankings on. ULM was not assigned an overall score, although the university does tie for number 372 in U.S. News’ ranking of business programs.

Despite not ranking, this is still ULM’s first time to be included on U.S. News’ national list. For the last two years, U.S. News included the university on its “Regional Universities Ranking” list, so this new classification is a step up.

ULM President Nick Bruno called ULM’s inclusion on the list a “landmark achievement for ULM,” and, “a clear indication of our progress as an institution of higher learning.”

“ULM has made the national stage more than once and this ranking certainly increases our visibility on that stage,” said Bruno.

“With all of our recent success, we must continue to be forward-moving. We are no longer merely a regional university. The nation is paying attention to what we are doing here in northeast Louisiana.”

ULM News Center has credited ULM’s upgrade to a national university to the university’s reclassification in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. This classification is the most widely accepted classification system of U.S. higher education institutions and the basis for U.S. News rankings, according to ULM News Center.

The Carnegie Classification recognized ULM as an R3 (“moderate research”) doctoral-granting institution of higher education in February, bumping it up from its classification of Master’s College and Universities – Larger programs (M1).