How Minnesota colleges fared in the U.S. News rankings

It's time again for U.S. News & World Report, which today released its 2012 college rankings -- the heavyweight in the rankings game.

Rankings are a controversial business, with critics grumbling over methodology, the volatility of some listings -- After all, how much can really change in a year? -- and the lengths some colleges will go to game the system. So as usual, take these listings with a big grain of salt.

I'll soon have up a story today on what those in higher education are saying, but for now take note a couple of changes since last year:

  1. The magazine has reclassified some of the colleges, which causes them to disappear from some listings and appear in others.

  2. It has included for-profit colleges for the first time if they meet the necessary criteria to be ranked. (But as you'll see, the one's listed for Minnesota are not.)

Here are the rankings, as compiled by MPR's newsroom coordinator, Carolina Astrain:

Before you keep reading ...

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Best National Universities

68. University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

115. University of St. Thomas

177. St. Mary’s University of Minnesota

Top 30 Public National Universities

25. University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

Unranked Schools, listed alphabetically:

Capella University; Walden University

Best Regional Universities – Midwest

11. Hamline University

14. St. Catherine University

19. Bethel University

26. College of St. Scholastica

28. Augsburg College

36. University of Minnesota – Duluth

62. Winona State University

70. Minnesota State University – Mankato

81. Minnesota State University – Moorhead

81. St. Cloud State University

91. Bemidji State University

98. Concordia University – St. Paul

108. Southwest Minnesota State University

Second-tier schools ranked 115-146, listed alphabetically

Metropolitan State University

Top Public Regional Universities 

7. University of Minnesota – Duluth

Best Regional Colleges – Midwest

16. Northwestern College

51. Martin Luther College

57. Crown College

67. North Central University

Second-tier schools ranked 74-97, listed alphabetically

Dunwoody College of Technology

Top Public Regional Colleges – Midwest

3. University of Minnesota – Crookston

Best National Liberal Arts Colleges

6. Carleton College

25. Macalester College

53. St. Olaf College

71. St. John’s University

81. Gustavus Adolphus College

90. College of St. Benedict

189. Concordia College - Moorhead

144. University of Minnesota - Morris

178. Bethany Lutheran College

The High School Counselors’ Picks

National Liberal Arts Colleges

11. Carleton College

17. Macalester College

Best Undergrad Engineering Programs

Schools Whose Highest Degree is a Doctorate

24. University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

Best in the Specialties – Chemical

4. University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

Best in Undergraduate Business

14. University of Minnesota – Twin Cities (Carlson)

Best in the Specialties – Management Information Systems

5. University of Minnesota – Twin Cities (Carlson)

A Strong Commitment to Teaching

National Liberal Arts Colleges

1. Carleton College

6. St. Olaf College

12. Macalester College

Regional Universities – Midwest

5. Hamline University

A-Plus Schools for B Students

(listed alphabetically)

National Universities

St. Mary’s University of Minnesota; University of St. Thomas

National Liberal Arts Colleges

College of St. Benedict; Concordia College - Moorhead; Gustavus Adolphus College; St. John’s University

Regional Universities - Midwest

Bethel University; Hamline University; St. Catherine University; University of Minnesota-Duluth

Regional Colleges - Midwest

Northwestern College

Great Schools, Great Prices

National Liberal Arts Colleges

14. Macalester College

28. Carleton College

40. Gustavus Adolphus College

Regional Universities – Midwest

13. Hamline University

Seeking Diversity

Valuing Economic Differences/National Liberal Arts Colleges

Macalester College (14% Pell Grants), Carleton College (12%)

The Foreign Student Factor/National Liberal Arts Colleges

Macalester College (14% international students)

Most Debt for Class of 2010

Regional Universities – Midwest

College of St. Scholastica ($40,816)

National Liberal Arts Colleges

Concordia College of Moorhead ($35,009)

Regional Colleges – Midwest

Crown College  ($38,042)


Regional Universities – Midwest:

5. Hamline University