Northeast Louisiana is blessed with great higher education institutions! Louisiana Tech University in Ruston and University of Louisiana Monroe (ULM) both rank as National Universities, according the U.S. News & World Reports Best Colleges Rankings. The two Northeast Louisiana universities are among only seven Louisiana four-year institutions to make it on the 2020 list of top U.S. colleges and universities. Grambling State University (GSU) was named a top Regional University in the South.
The magazine’s annual ranking of the best colleges and universities evaluates 1,400 schools, based on 15 measures of academic quality, including average ACT/SAT scores of admitted students, student-faculty ratios and graduation rates. In America, the U.S. News & World Report rankings are regarded as the gold standard.
National Universities offer a full range of undergraduate majors, plus master’s and doctoral programs, and emphasize faculty research or award professional practice doctorates. In addition to ranking as National Universities, Louisiana Tech also scored high as a Top Public School, and ULM scored high in Business Programs. Both universities were named Top Performers on Social Mobility. Both ULM and Louisiana Tech were more successful than other schools at advancing social mobility by enrolling and graduating large proportions of disadvantaged students awarded with Pell Grants.
Regional Universities offer a full range of undergraduate programs, some master’s programs and a few doctoral programs. In addition to being named a top Regional University in the South, GSU ranks No. 49 in the Historically Black Colleges and Universities category and No. 28 as a Top Performer on Social Mobility. For the full report, visit www.usnews.com/best-colleges.
Northeast Louisiana institutions have steadily climbed the college rankings over the years. This positive momentum indicates continual improvement in the quality of higher education in Louisiana. Few regions in Louisiana can tout so many high-caliber institutions of learning, which have a huge economic impact on Northeast Louisiana. Universities attract talent and dollars from tuition, wages and student and faculty spending. In its 2018 economic impact study, the University of Louisiana (UL) System, which oversees nine UL universities, including Louisiana Tech, ULM and GSU, estimates that their schools contributed $10.9 billion to the state’s economy. The UL system study reports that GSU generates $264 million, Louisiana Tech generated $462 million, and ULM produces $350 million in regional economic impact.
Soon, Northeast Louisiana will see another feather in its cap, as the widely anticipated Edward Via School of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) is set to open its doors as early as the fall of 2020. The anticipated medical school is estimated to generate $60-$77 million a year in economic impact.