Webster University Ranked 16th in the Midwest, Earns All-Time High Score on U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges List
September 13, 2021
Webster University’s score in the annual U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankings rose to its highest level since the ranking system was established, and its overall peer rating matched the University’s best all-time score.
Webster was listed at #16 on the 2022 Regional University - Midwest list, and was included in four best-of categories.
“Webster University continues to be recognized as one of the best institutions in the Midwest because of its superior academics, dedicated faculty and staff and the support we provide for our immensely talented students,” said Webster University Chancellor Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble. “This year’s record-setting score shows that we continue to innovate to meet diverse students’ needs.”
The U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges ranking measures universities in several categories based on federal educational data and responses from surveys sent to leaders at colleges and universities. Based on a complicated formula, each school then earns a score of 0-100.
Webster’s overall score rose from 73 to 75. Webster’s overall ranking was listed at 16 out of the 157 Midwest institutions, and third among all Missouri institutions on the Midwest list.
The University had one of its best years on the list. According to the rankings:
- Webster’s percentage of students who were in the top 25% of their graduating high school class rose from 47% to 54%.
- The University’s peer ranking remained at 3, tying its highest peer score set last year.
- Webster’s four-year average retention rate rose to 78.2% despite the challenges of the pandemic. Many other universities saw their retention rates drop from last year because of the pandemic and other associated economic challenges.
Webster also was listed in several categories in this year’s rankings:
- Webster is one of only two Missouri Midwest universities to be listed as an “A+ Schools for B students.” This list identifies excellent schools that are ranked in the top three-fourths of their Best Colleges ranking categories as well as those schools who bring an average of at least 75% of their freshmen back the next fall. Webster was one of 26 Regional Universities-Midwest institutions to be recognized as an A+ School for B Students.
- At #6 among the top 25 Midwest Universities for Economic Diversity. This list ranks the percentage of undergraduates receiving federal Pell Grants. Students from households that earn less than $50,000 annually typically qualify for a Pell. According to U.S. News & World Report, 31% of Webster undergraduates are Pell recipients.
- At #7 for Best for Vets for Midwest Universities. This is the 10th year Webster has made this list, and this year it is the highest-ranked Midwest university in Missouri. This list recognizes institutions that help veterans and active duty service members pursue, pay for, and complete their degrees.
- Webster was listed at #58 for social mobility among Midwest universities. It tied for fourth in Missouri. This list looks at the graduation rates of Pell Grant recipients when compared to non-Pell Grant recipients.
- Webster was ranked #62 for Best Value Schools Midwest and earned the sixth spot among all Missouri schools. This category measures the net cost of attendance, need-based financial aid, and above average academics. Only institutions in or near the top half of their category are considered.
- Webster was listed at #1 for overall faculty resources for the fifth year in a row. This list measures how easy it is for students to access faculty and to take a course that is directly taught by a professor with a doctoral degree.
- Webster was listed at 16th for faculty compensation in the Midwest region, up from 25th last year.
- Webster rose to 23rd for financial resources, up from 25th last year. This list rates the amount of financial offered to students. According to federal data, more than 95% of all Webster undergraduates receive some type of financial assistance.
- Webster rose to 36th place from 44th place in Midwest institution for students graduating with the least amount of debt. The average amount of debt for a Webster graduate fell by about $3,000 from the previous year, according to U.S. News & World Report.
- Webster was ranked #46 among all Midwest Universities for Ethnic Diversity, up two spots from last year. Webster’s overall ethnic diversity among undergraduates rose from 40% to 43%. The ethnic categories used in the calculations are non-Hispanic African American, Hispanic, American Indian, Pacific Islander/Native Hawaiian, Asian, non-Hispanic white and multiracial (two or more races). Students who did not identify themselves as members of any of those demographic groups were classified as non-Hispanic whites for the purpose of these calculations.
“Webster University scores have reached record levels, in the most challenging circumstances which affected every aspect of our operations. Our continued success is founded on the unwavering dedication of the entire university community -- faculty, staff, alumni -- to providing the highest quality education to students,” Webster University President Julian Z. Schuster said. “I offer my heartiest congratulations to everyone who added to our academic and operational excellence and found new ways to offer superior services during one of the most difficult times in our history.”