Campus news items: How Idaho fared in U.S. News and World Report rankings

U.S. News and World Report has released its annual college and university rankings, and several Idaho schools are touting some of the numbers.

The University of Idaho ranked No. 28 in the nation for “best value schools,” topping the rankings for colleges in the West for the second consecutive year. “Being the best value is demonstrated by our strong outcomes,” U of I President Scott Green said in a news release. “Our students graduate with lower debt and get great jobs, setting them up for success and the ability to lead their industries.”

U.S. News and World Report calculates “value schools” by measuring an institution’s overall academic ranking against the cost for an out-of-state student receiving an average award of need-based aid.

Boise State University ranked No. 46 in the nation for innovation. “We have developed new strategies for teaching, research, and service —  the vital work of a public university,” President Marlene Tromp said in a news release.

These rankings are based on nominations from college officials, who graded their peers for innovations in “curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology or facilities,” U.S. News and World Report says.

Lewis-Clark State College was ranked No. 8 for best value among regional colleges in the West and No. 21 overall among regional colleges in the region. Lewis-Clark also ranked No. 31 in a social mobility, a new category based on enrollment numbers and graduation rates for students receiving federal Pell grants.

“This is just one more affirmation of what we know to be true,” President Cynthia Pemberton said. “LC State is accessible, affordable and a high-quality education value.”

Here are the overall U.S. News and World Report rankings. (Not all schools receive a specific ranking.)

  • National universities (392 schools ranked): U of I, No. 179; Boise State, No. 299-391; Idaho State University, No. 299-391.
  • National liberal arts colleges (223 schools ranked): The College of Idaho, No. 136.
  • Regional universities, West (126 schools ranked): Northwest Nazarene University, No. 51.
  • Regional colleges, West (102 schools ranked): Brigham Young University-Idaho, No. 16; Lewis-Clark, No. 21.

Lewis-Clark enters agreement with Washington community college

Lewis-Clark recently signed an agreement with Walla Walla Community College, which will allow students to attend both schools concurrently.

The two schools have set up co-admission and co-enrollment partnerships, and a financial aid consortium.

“LC State and WWCC have a long history of working collaboratively to bring education options and opportunities to our region,” Pemberton said in a news release. “This agreement solidifies, streamlines and enhances our shared abilities to serve students and serve them seamlessly.”

The agreement applies to both of Lewis-Clark’s campuses, in Lewiston and Coeur d’Alene.

U of I announces Chobani scholarships

Four U of I College of Agricultural and Life Sciences students will receive four-year, $20,000 scholarships, designed to support the next generation of dairy farming in the state.

It’s the third year for the Chobani Scholars program, funded by the yogurt manufacturer, which operates a plant in Twin Falls.

“The future of dairy matters to us and one of the best ways to help Idaho farmers is to equip tomorrow’s dairy leaders with the tools they need to thrive,” said Peter McGuinness, president and COO of Chobani.

The four scholarship recipients all come from the Magic Valley:

  • Reina Elkin, a Buhl High School graduate who plans to major in pre-veterinary science.
  • Juan Jaquez, a Minico High School graduate who plans to major in pre-veterinary science.
  • Ariana Olmos, a Minico graduate who plans to major in pre-veterinary science.
  • Avrie Ottley, a Burley High School graduate who plans to major in dairy science.

“I would like a career in dairy farming because it’s part of a huge industry in southern Idaho and I would like to come back and help communities here,” Olmos said in a news release.


Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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