ECU remains a top college in 2024 U.S. News rankings

East Carolina University is a top five school in North Carolina in best public schools and top 10 in the state in all national university categories in U.S. News & World Report’s 2024 Best Colleges rankings released on Monday.  

Among national universities, ECU was No. 195 out of 436 institutions ranked. ECU was No. 106 out of 227 ranked in the Top Public Schools — National Universities.

Water in East Carolina University's Wright Fountain sparkles in the sun.

Water in East Carolina University’s Wright Fountain sparkles in the sun. ECU is a top five school in North Carolina in both best public schools and best national university categories in U.S. News & World Report’s 2024 Best Colleges rankings released on Monday. (ECU photo by Rhett Butler).

ECU placed third in the UNC System as a Best Value School and was recognized as a top performer on social mobility. ECU was No. 71 nationally in Best Value Schools, which are those that, according to U.S. News, are above average academically and cost considerably less than many other schools when financial aid, scholarships and grants are considered. The social mobility ranking assesses how well schools graduate economically disadvantaged students. ECU was No. 93 out of 435 national universities for social mobility.

Additionally, ECU was a Best College for Veterans at No. 137 nationally. To achieve this recognition, schools must be ranked in the top half in a Best College category, must be certified for the GI Bill, and participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program or be a public institution. The ranking is based on enrollment and benefits for veterans and active-duty service members.

U.S. News changed its methodology this year to focus more on social mobility and graduation outcomes, according to U.S. News’ website. New factors added include first-generation graduation rates, first-generation graduation performance, college graduates earning more than high school graduates, and four factors related to faculty research: citations per publication, field weighted citation impact, share of publications cited in the top 5% of the most cited journals, and share of publications cited in the top 25% of the most cited journals.

Other factors — borrower debt, faculty salaries and financial resources — were modified. Because of the changes, weights were adjusted either up or down on several metrics including graduation rates, first-year retention rates, graduation rate performance, Pell graduation performance and rates, borrower debt, faculty salaries, full-time faculty and financial resources.

Several factors were dropped from the 2024 ranking formula. Alumni giving, class size, high school class standing, faculty with terminal degrees, and the proportion of graduates with federal loans were not considered. These factors had accounted for 16% of the ranking formula.

“More than 50% of an institution’s rank now comprises varying outcome measures related to success in enrolling and graduating students from all backgrounds with manageable debt and post-graduate success,” U.S. News reported.

The following ECU programs were rated by peer review only and among the best nationally:

ECU Institutional Planning, Assessment and Research contributed to this story.

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