The University of Guam has been ranked as 46th “Top Performer on Social Mobility” and 42nd on the “Best Regional Universities” in the West by U.S. News & World Report 2021 Best Colleges Rankings. 

The rankings were published on Tuesday, according to a press release from UOG. 

U.S. News & World Report ranked UOG 46th as a “Top Performer on Social Mobility” among Western regional universities. UOG was also ranked 42nd among the top public institutions in the West and 84th among all Western regional universities. Regional universities are those that offer a full range of undergraduate programs and provide master’s level degrees.

“The U.S. News & World Report lists are among the most widely used and quoted college rankings nationwide, so being included really puts the University of Guam on the map and among great company,” UOG President Thomas W. Krise said.

The Best Colleges rankings include all colleges and universities in the nation that are accredited, four-year institutions with more than 250 students. To be ranked, schools must also have received a minimum of 10 peer ratings from other universities in the list’s annual survey.

Top performer on social mobility

The “Top Performers on Social Mobility” list measures how well schools graduated students who received federal Pell grants. These students belong to households typically earning less than $50,000 per year, with most Pell grant households earning less than $20,000. UOG has a high percentage of Pell-eligible students at 59% — compared to an average of 47% among other universities that made the social mobility list — and graduates a high number of Pell recipients within six years in relation to non-Pell recipients.

“This is a great accolade for UOG,” Krise said. “It means we’re having a more significant impact on our graduates’ lives than most regional universities, helping them achieve more despite having financial challenges.”

Small class size, high retention rate

The main factors in the overall ranking methodology are graduation and retention rates, academic reputation among institutional peers, and faculty statistics. UOG is most competitive in the ranking criteria when it comes to class size, with nearly 60% of UOG’s classes having fewer than 20 students, versus 51% on average for other Western regional universities, and a student-to-faculty ratio of 16:1, which is the category average. UOG is also competitive in its first-year retention rate — posting 75% versus the Western regional university average of 73%. UOG’s retention rate has been higher than 73% the past three years.

“Being a top performer in social mobility and being ranked among the best institutions in the West shows that UOG is, indeed, ‘transforming lives and advancing communities’ — the vision statement developed under UOG’s five-year Para Hulo’ plan,” said Senior Vice President and Provost Anita Borja Enriquez. “This vision will remain central to UOG’s strategic intent going forward.”

UOG’s profile in the 2021 Best Colleges Rankings can be viewed at https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/university-of-guam-3935/overall-rankings.

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