CHRIS POCHE / Design Editor
Ohio State has climbed one spot in the rankings of best public universities to No. 17, according to The U.S. News and World Report’s list of the “2012 Best Colleges.”
Last year, OSU was ranked No. 18 in the nation among public universities.
Although there are many factors that contribute to being ranked in this position, The U.S. News and World Report attributes the rise in rankings to improved academic reputation and improved graduation rates. According to OSU’s website, the current graduation rate, 78 percent, is at the highest it has ever been.
The U.S. News and World Report ranked OSU as No. 55 among all universities. Both public and private universities are included in
Mabel Freeman, assistant to the vice president for undergraduate admissions and First-Year Experience, said the rise in rankings is not surprising and programs such as FYE have helped OSU become even more reputable.
“We are trying to reach out and find something that will benefit each student,” Freeman said.
Several other Big Ten schools cracked the top 25 in the public universities ranking. Among public universities, Michigan is ranked No. 4, Wisconsin is ranked No. 10 and both Penn State and Illinois are tied, ranked No. 13.
Northwestern, the only Big Ten school that is not a public university, took top honors in the conference, ranked No. 12 overall. By comparison, Michigan, the top public school in the Big Ten, was ranked No. 28 of all universities.
The retention rate has risen since past years to about 92.8 percent of freshmen that end up returning for another year at OSU. This is not only much higher than the national average retention rate of 77 percent, but it is also continuing to increase each year, Freeman said.
Retention contributes greatly to graduation rate because it means not only are students coming to OSU, but they are also staying long enough to graduate, Freeman said.
“When we are able to move that needle, (it) is a tribute to the university and the students,” Freeman said.
Although the retention rate is something university officials are very much aware of, many students said they were worried about just getting into OSU.
Clarissa De Pozzio, a first-year in mathematics, said getting into OSU was difficult.
“Getting into Ohio State is like getting into Harvard,” De Pozzio said. “It was hard (and) I had to challenge myself.”
Harvard University was ranked No. 1 on The U.S. News and World Report’s rankings of all universities.
OSU seems to have become more difficult to enter than it has been in the past said De Pozzio. According to OSU’s facts website, the class of 2015 has an average ACT score of 27.8, which is the higher than any other incoming freshman class. By comparison, 2006’s enrolled class had an ACT average of 26.4.
Many of OSU’s colleges are also ranked high across the nation. The Fisher College of Business is ranked No. 14 in the nation and No. 6 among public universities, according to the publication. The College of Engineering also makes a name for itself by ranking No. 29 in the nation.
Every school in the Big Ten is ranked in the top 50 for public universities.
Correction: A previous version of this article stated that last year, Ohio State’s retention rate of freshmen returning for another year at OSU has risen to 77 percent. In fact, a 77 percent retention rate is the national average for universities. OSU’s retention rate was 92.8 percent last year.