Aug 242003
Authors: Christiana Nelson

CSU holds a place in the top tier of the nation’s schools, according to a recent ranking.

U.S. News and World Report released their annual university ranking on Friday, revealing that CSU is ranked about the same as previous years. CSU President Larry Penley attributes the consistent reputation to CSU’s outstanding research and positive school atmosphere.

“One of the reasons I came to CSU,” Penley said, “was because of the high quality of the programs and the satisfaction the students have here.”

The rankings compared 248 private and public universities around the nation and listed CSU as 112. This ranking places CSU in the top tier of doctoral universities and in close competition with universities such as University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Florida State University and University of Utah.

“The ranking really places CSU among fine universities,” Penley said. “I’m excited, always, when we are well recognized.”

This year, according to, U.S. News and World Report has changed its ranking system to rank the top 125 schools numerically and then place the remaining universities in alphabetical order in the third and fourth tiers. Previously, the system ranked the top 50 universities numerically and placed the remaining schools in alphabetical order in a second tier.

U.S. News and World Report’s study was based upon seven criteria: peer assessment (weighted by 25 percent), retention (20 percent), faculty resources (20 percent), student selectivity (15 percent), financial resources (10 percent), graduation rate (5 percent) and alumni giving rate (5 percent).

The ranking is the most recent recognition in a series of national acknowledgements bestowed upon the school. CSU was also listed as one of the top 100 public universities in terms of quality of education and affordability in the October 2002 edition of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine. The university also received an award as a top character-building institution by the Templeton Foundation and was named second in the nation for federal research and development support.

Freshman Fabian Rocha, business administration major, feels honored to be a part of CSU at a time when it is so nationally acclaimed.

“It makes me feel important, like I’m a part of a national society,” Rocha said. “I feel like the university has outstanding achievements and awards and that I’m going to be able to do the same later on in my life.”

Although some students are proud of the ranking they also realize that there is more that goes into a university than the seven criteria used in the rankings. Heidi Bemowski, a counseling and psychology graduate student, believes that some of the most important things about CSU cannot be judged by set criterion.

“A good faculty and staff is important,” Bemowski said. “Small class sizes are always a plus and I think a diverse campus population is good. You also want to have an open, accepting atmosphere.”

Brynn Murrell, a freshman biology major, agrees.

“It is important (to look at) how nice the facilities are and how kept up they are,” Murrell said. “Having different types of organizations is also important. For example, as a freshman you want to meet people, but you need to be given opportunities to, I think that is really important.”

The study revealed University of Colorado at Boulder, ranked 78, and University of Denver, ranked 87, are placed ahead of CSU, but Penley is still pleased with the ranking.

“We can absolutely be proud (of the award),” Penley said. “I celebrate the excellence at CSU as well as at University of Denver and at CU.”


Top 10 Universities

1. Harvard University and Princeton University (tie)

3. Yale University

4. Massachusetts’s Institute of Technology

5. California Institute of Technology, Duke University, Stanford University and University of Pennsylvania (tie)

9. Dartmouth College and Washington State University in St. Louis (tie)


Colorado Universities

78. University of Colorado – Boulder (tied w/ 5 other universities)

87. University of Denver (tied with 3 others)

112. Colorado State University (tied with 4 others)

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