WNY colleges and universities find rankings to celebrate in US News list
The University at Buffalo celebrates its place in the nation’s top 40 public universities, ranking 38th — like last year — in the US News 2022-23 Best Colleges ranking released this week.
Hilbert College in Hamburg announces its ranking at #2 for boosting student social mobility (second to #1 Boricua College in New York, a school dedicated to helping Hispanic students succeed).
State of SUNY Fredonia announces its 17th-place ranking in the “Top Public Universities in the North” category, a region that “includes nearly 200 four-year universities in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont,” the statement read.
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Depending on how you research the rankings of a record 1,500 four-year colleges and universities in 17 different categories that US News examined this year, just about every school in the report can find something to brag about.
And depending on how you spin them, rankings are either the final word on all things higher education or just another tool students can use to determine the best school for them.
Schools that move up in the rankings from year to year tend to publicly emphasize this fact. Schools that don’t, don’t.
For instance, Stony Brook University on Long Island happily shares its ranking at No. 77 among national universities — “a significant 16-spot jump from a year ago” — and its seven-spot rise to No. 31 among public universities.
“This is also the first time that Stony Brook has been the top-ranked public university in New York State without being tied to another university,” Stony Brook’s statement read.
Newsday’s cover referred to Stony Brook as “the flagship university of the SUNY system” – even though Governor Kathy Hochul named two SUNY flagships this year: Stony Brook and UB.
UB, on the other hand, noted its placement at No. 89 on this year’s US News list of top national universities, public and private, an improvement of four spots from last year.
UB also came in at 56th among the best colleges for veterans. A release from UB that delved into the finer points revealed that it also reached No. 65 among undergraduate computer science programs, a 17-spot improvement from last year, and No. 67 on the list of undergraduate nursing programs, an improvement of nine spots from the previous year.
Other potentially noteworthy rankings in this year’s report include:
St. Bonaventure University came in 20th out of 181 “Northern Regional Universities”, ninth in “Best Value Schools”, and 63rd in “Top Performers in Social Mobility”.
Canisius College is 22nd in northern regional universities (tied with Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania), ninth in best colleges for veterans, and 6th in undergraduate education (tied with the College of New Jersey in Ervine, NJ), a category which reflects its emphasis on undergraduate research.
Niagara University ranked 33rd in Northern Regional Universities, 14th in Best Colleges for Veterans, and fifth in Best Value.
SUNY Buffalo State is ranked 40th among top public schools, 113th in Northern Regional Universities (out of 181 ranked), and 34th in social mobility, earning praise from Buffalo State President Katherine Conway-Turner.
“Buffalo State’s continued high ranking in social mobility reflects the college’s efforts to lift low-income and first-generation students into the middle class and beyond,” she said in the release. Buffalo State. “It’s a part of Buffalo State’s mission that I’m especially proud of.”
Sometimes it’s enough to make the list. Daemen University ranked 331st out of 440 national universities – and sees that glass half full. The school announced that “for the fourth consecutive year, the university has been ranked among the top institutions of higher learning in the nation, earning a spot on the 2022-23 U.S. News and World Report Top National Universities list.”
Daemen also did the numbers and said it was “one of only three institutions in the Buffalo-Niagara area to make the list of national universities—and one of only 28 ranked in New State.” York”.
While the US News list is considered the most influential in college rankings, some question the methodology, the data provided by schools, and the weight given to different categories.
In a speech last month, US Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said US News’ rankings tend to emphasize reputation rather than performance.
“Too often, our best-resourced schools seek out rankings that mean little about metrics that really matter: college completion, economic mobility, closing the gap in access to opportunity for all the Americans,” Cardona said. “This ranking system is a joke.”
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Five Readings on Buffalo Niagara’s Economy
Buffalo Niagara’s job market got back on track in August, with hiring resuming at its fastest pace since March and concerns easing after the July jobs report showed a loss of jobs in the region.
2. Pickup in WNY Housing Inventory Means More Opportunities and Time for Buyers. Homebuyers in Western New York are starting to breathe easier and taking longer to make decisions now that there are more homes for sale on the market and they need less act quickly. But they still can’t hang around. And that doesn’t mean they get a deal on the houses, which are now priced much higher than they would have been a year or two ago.
2. Why so many apartments? The Buffalo area is experiencing a growth explosion. From Elmwood Village and Allentown to South Buffalo and West Side, from Tonawanda and Amherst to Orchard Park and Hamburg, developers are constructing new apartment buildings or converting old industrial warehouses and offices. Apartments are in high demand – new units filling up almost as soon as they come online.
3. A remote possibility: living in Buffalo, working for out-of-town employers. The pandemic has opened up job opportunities that were relatively scarce before the spring of 2020, such as working from home for a remote company in the Buffalo Niagara region. It’s a welcome twist on the all-too-familiar story of local workers finding jobs elsewhere.
4. Economic Spotlight: Weak Average Wage Growth in Buffalo Niagara Region. After peaking during the Covid-19 pandemic, incomes for Buffalo Niagara workers have returned to slow growth mode.
5. Business People: See who’s growing in Buffalo Niagara’s workforce.
The Buffalo Next team gives you insight into the economic revitalization of the region. Email tips to [email protected] or contact Associate Business Editor David Robinson at 716-849-4435.
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