First year students at UWRF gather in the amphitheatre to kick off the new academic year.
UW-River Falls students gather for an Academic Day presentation kicking off the academic year. UWRF is ranked as one of the top regional public universities in the U.S. News & World Report 2024 Best Colleges list. UWRF photo.

UW-River Falls recognized for excellence by U.S. News & World Report

University improves its public and regional university rankings

Sept. 18, 2023 - The University of Wisconsin-River Falls has once again been named one of the best regional public universities in the Midwest by the U.S. News & World Report 2024 Best Colleges ranking. 

The acclaimed ranking lists UW-River Falls as the No. 14-ranked regional university among public schools in the Midwest in its 2024 Best Colleges list. The university also is ranked 60th among regional universities in the Midwest. 

Those rankings are both improvements from the 2023 list, when UW-River Falls was deemed the 18th-best public school in the Midwest and placed 75th among regional Midwestern universities. 

Chancellor Maria Gallo said the high placement of UW-River Falls in U.S. News & World Report is indicative of the university’s commitment to ensuring that students receive a quality education. Success educating students is borne out in the university’s improvement in the rankings, she said. 

“Our rise in the rankings further emphasizes what a quality education UWRF students receive at an affordable price point,” Gallo said. “UWRF is an amazing value.”

Its appearance on the Best Colleges list is a sign of the high-caliber instruction provided to UWRF students, Provost and Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs David Travis said. The accolades also are evidence of the knowledgeable, talented faculty at the university, he said. 

“This recognition is a testament to the hard work and dedication that the faculty and staff at UW-River Falls put forth every day to ensure that our students have the best possible learning experience,” Travis said.

The U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankings are calculated using up to 19 measures of academic quality, with the intent of helping students and their families identify colleges that best fit their needs. The report evaluates 1,500 colleges and universities nationally. 

UW-River Falls also scored well in the social mobility category, which measures success in enrolling and graduating students from all backgrounds with manageable debt and post-graduate success. The strong performance of UW-River Falls in that category shows the university’s commitment to working closely with students to make sure they succeed, Travis said. 

This year’s rankings place a greater emphasis on social mobility and outcomes for graduating students, with more than 50% of scores now based on outcome measures. 

The rankings highlight higher education institutions in a range of areas, from financial value to teaching to serving veterans’ needs. They also assess quality in six academic disciplines: business, computer science, engineering, nursing – and for the first time this year, economics and psychology. 

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