Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Ranking Places Augustana at the Top in South Dakota

Wall Street Journal Ranking - Image of Augustana Commencement

On the annual list of the top U.S. colleges and universities published by The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education, Augustana University was ranked top in South Dakota, 85 out of 212 universities in the Midwest, and 360 out of 801 institutions, nationally.

The 2020 rankings, which include 801 schools, was posted Wednesday night to The Journal's website.

According to the published methodology, "the ranking includes clear performance indicators designed to answer the questions that matter most to students and their families" when deciding which college to attend.

The WSJ/THE rankings emphasize how well a college will prepare students for life after graduation. The overall ranking is based on a methodology that measures 15 factors across four pillar categories.

  • 40% — Student Outcomes, which factors in graduation rate, value added to salary for graduates, debt after graduation, and academic reputation
  • 30% — Academic Resources, which includes metrics such as faculty-to-student ratio and per capita research papers published by faculty
  • 20% — Student Engagement, based on responses to THE's U.S. Student Survey of more than 170,000 current U.S. college students and reflecting information such as how likely a respondent is to recommend a school to a friend or family member
  • 10% — Diversity, which includes four different measures of student and faculty diversity and inclusion

This year's rankings take into account roughly 174,000 responses from student surveys. Questions included whether they feel inspired and motivated by their classmates, whether they think their college is worth what they and their families are paying, and if they’d choose the same school if they had to start all over again. Responses are tabulated within the student engagement category. Out of the four categories, Augustana ranked the highest in the student engagement category at 234 out of 801 institutions. 

Within the past month, Augustana was ranked number one in South Dakota by Niche and was named the a Hidden Gem in the Midwest and in the United States by College Raptor. In 2018, the university was named the Best College in South Dakota by Money Magazine and was ranked in a number of categories by U.S. News & World Report

About Augustana University

Founded in 1860, Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is a selective, comprehensive university affiliated with the Lutheran Church. With more than 100 majors, minors and pre-professional programs for undergraduates — along with graduate degree and continuing education programs — Augustana is committed to enriching lives and fostering development by combining a foundation in the liberal arts with professional skills and advanced study.

Nationally recognized for academic excellence, graduate outcomes and affordability by U.S. News & World Report, Forbes and the Princeton Review, Augustana serves more than 2,100 students from 33 states and 32 countries. Most are part of our residential community and call our 100-acre campus home. Our graduate and continuing education programs serve students online and during times that are convenient for adult learners.

Nikki Troxclair, APR
Strategic Communications & Marketing