UI jumps in national university rankings

In the U.S. News and World Report’s newest ranking released Sunday night, the UI increased its ranking both among public schools and overall but slipped in student to faculty ratio and graduation retention.


Katie Goodale/The Daily Iowan

The Old Capitol building is seen on March, 6, 2021.

Kate Perez, News Reporter

The UI’s overall rank among public universities in the U.S. News and World Report rankings jumped one spot from last year, according to the 2022 list published Sunday night.

While the UI also improved its average first-year retention rate and predicted graduation rate, it dropped in its graduation retention rank, the percentage of classes with 50 or more students, and the student to faculty ratio. The financial resources rank and the average alumni giving rate also decreased.

  • The UI moved from 34 to 33 among public universities.
  • Among public and private universities, the UI jumped from 88 to 83.
  • A first-year retention rate increased by one percentage point from 86 to 87 percent.
  • The predicted graduation rate increased by 4 percentage points, rising from 69 to 73 percent.
  • Graduation retention rank dropped by one from 120 to 121, meaning that the number of students who remain all 4 years and graduate decreased.
  • The percentage of classes with 50 or more students rose from 13 to 14 percent.
  • The student to faculty ratio increased from 15 to 1 to 16 to 1.

“It’s gratifying to see improvement in the outcomes that matter most to our students and families, which is creating an environment that retains students and keeps them on path to graduating in four years,” UI President Barbara Wilson said in a press release. “We will continue to invest in programs that help students achieve success during their time at Iowa and after they graduate.”

Along with the increases, the UI was named the 10th university overall in writing, strengthening its claim as “The Writing University.” The UI is the only public university to be included on that list.

“We’ve long known Iowa’s excellence in writing is unparallel, but it’s nice to be listed among other elites,” UI Executive Vice President and Provost Kevin Kregel said in a press release. “Even more importantly, Iowa’s writing-related resources benefit all our students, regardless of their field of study. Employers are looking for strong communicators in every field and Iowa students graduate with an advantage.”

The other program to make the top 10 is nursing, which was ranked 10th overall.

The Tippie College of Business ranked 36th among undergraduate business programs. The business analytics program was ranked 33rd and the accounting program was ranked 50th.

The UI’s financial resources rank also dropped from 87th to 97th, and the average alumni giving rate dropped from 7 percent to 6 percent.

The UI also dropped one spot in “Best Value Schools,” falling from 108th to 109th.

The UI improved ranking in faculty resources, the percent of classes with under 20 students, selectivity rate, the percent of first-year students who were in the top 10 percent of their high school class, the Pell Grant rate, and social mobility.

The UI recently created multiple projects to generate more success throughout different aspects of the university and combat the decreasing categories and rankings. Initiatives approved for funding to be put in place toward these different projects created to increase success in June.

One planned project is “A Campuswide Learning at Iowa Framework to Increase Students’ Academic Success,” which is geared toward bettering the Learning@Iowa program in order to improve the way students learn across campus, whether in classes, residence halls, or academic advisor sessions.

Another project, “Examining and Tailoring Academic Policies to Enhance Undergraduate Student Success and Equity,” is specifically geared toward positively impacting the undergraduate student retention and graduation rates.

Iowa’s ranked programs:

  • Writing: 10th
  • Nursing: 10th
  • Tippie College of Business: 36th
  • Business analytics: 33rd
  • Accounting: 50th
  • Undergraduate engineering at colleges that offer doctorates: 63rd
  • Undergraduate computer science: 71st