U.S. News rankings: Iowa State 54th among public universities

Lake LaVerne on a fall day

AMES, Iowa – Iowa State University improved in the overall and public university 2021 rankings released Monday by U.S. News and World Report.

Iowa State is tied for 54th among public universities and tied for 118th in the overall national rankings. Last year, the university was tied for 55th among publics and 121st overall. Iowa State’s 2021 ranking reflects improvement in faculty-to-student ratio, funding for student instruction and class sections with enrollments less than 20.

The 2021 rankings include separate lists for the best undergraduate engineering and business programs. Iowa State went up in both categories:

  • Engineering was tied for 24th among public universities and tied for 42nd overall among doctoral universities. The undergraduate agricultural and biosystems engineering program was tied for 2nd.
  • Business was tied for 42nd among public schools and tied for 67th among AACSB-Accredited Programs.

U.S. News added a new ranking this year for best undergraduate computer science program. Iowa State was tied for 61st out of 481 schools ranked in this area.

The magazine also recognized Iowa State in the following categories:

  • Best College for Veterans – tied for 81st for participating in federal initiatives that help veterans and active-duty service members pay for their degrees.
  • Best Value Schools, which considers academic quality, cost and percentage of undergraduates receiving need-based scholarships or grants.
  • “A+ School for B students,” which looks at overall ranking and freshman retention rates. To be considered, colleges must admit a meaningful proportion of students who didn’t get straight A’s.

Iowa State is a public, land-grant institution, committed to providing students with a high-quality education that is both accessible and affordable. Methodology for the rankings is based on student outcomes (graduation, retention rates), faculty resources (faculty salary, class size), academic reputation (judged by academics at peer institutions), financial resources (average spending per student), student excellence (SAT, ACT scores) and alumni giving.

The U.S. News & World Report “Best Colleges 2021” rankings can be found on the magazine’s website.