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Higher Education
Rice ranks among top 20 national universities for third consecutive decade
News Release
Monday, September 10, 2018

U.S. News annual survey also rates Rice among top 20 best values

HOUSTON – Rice University ranks among the top 20 national universities in the 2018 U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges” guidebook, retaining its position as the highest ranked university in Texas.


In the latest edition of the college guide published today, Rice ranks No. 16  -- the highest in Texas -- among more than 300 national universities that offer a full range of undergraduate majors and master’s and doctoral degrees and that place a strong emphasis on research. Rice has remained in the top 20 since first appearing on the list in 1988.


The survey’s indicators of excellence include outcomes, faculty resources, expert opinion, financial resources, student excellence and alumni giving. U.S. News weighs these variables differently to calculate an overall score for each institution.


Rice also ranked in the top 20 “Best Value Schools” among national universities assessed for this survey. At 14th place on this list, Rice is the best value among all national universities in Texas, and is the only Texas institution ranking among the nation’s top 40 best values.


Rice is at No. 8 on a list of national universities with a strong commitment to undergraduate teaching, which reflects goals laid out in President David Leebron’s Vision for the Second Century, Second Decade, (V2C2).


Rice made several other lists in the new U.S. News college guide:


Rice’s undergraduate engineering program is rated among the nation’s top 20 such programs offering doctoral degrees. Rice shared the 18th spot on the list in a six-way tie with Columbia University, Duke University, the University of California at Los Angeles, the University of California at San Diego and the University of Washington.


Rice also ranks on lists of the top college picks among high school counselors (21st) and the nation’s most innovative schools (28th).


A survey assessing “The Foreign Student Factor” cites Rice as having 12 percent of its undergraduate students hailing from foreign countries during the 2017-2018 academic year. Another list lauding institutions for “Valuing Economic Differences, Too,” reports that 14 percent of Rice students received federal Pell Grants in the 2016-2017 academic year.


U.S. News is the second major publication to recently rank the university among the nation’s top 20. The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education annual college survey ranked Rice 14th out of 968 institutions it assessed for its 2019 report. Rice ranked 2nd out of 286 colleges in the south.


The WSJ/THE survey rates institutions based on how well colleges prepare students for life after they graduate. The report is based upon 15 factors in four categories: student outcomes (including graduate salaries), academic resources, diversity and student engagement. The rankings take into account responses to survey questions asked of 189,000 students, who are asked opinions on a wide range of subjects such as how challenging they find their classes and how often faculty members encourage them to apply classroom instruction to the real world.


More information on the 2019 U.S. News rankings can be found at

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