U.S. News and World Report recently announced that William Jewell College was ranked the 8th Best College in the Midwest, as well as the 6th Best Value School. These rankings are determined by surveying academic quality and comparing it to the net cost of attendance. Jewell was also given the accolade of being the highest-rated Kansas City area school in both of these categories according to Jewell’s statement.
William Jewell has made multiple efforts to draw in more students. These rankings are a promising addition to the portfolio for Jewell recruiters and admissions staff to show to prospective students.
However, as with everything else in 2020, these rankings have been impacted by COVID-19. Millions of students across the United States were unable to take either the ACT or the SAT, so many colleges and universities around the nation have dropped the requirement of submitting scores for admission.
Consequently, the standardized test scores aren’t valued as significantly in the U.S. News and World Report ranking. This year, the rankings put a specific focus on what position students are in after graduation. The ranking understands this in terms of debt and different social mobility factors among graduated students.
William Jewell College is evaluated on the U.S. News and World Report website, highlighting some general information, alumni salaries, admission details, academic life, student life, campus safety, user reviews, financial aid and an admission calculator for those prospective students looking to be a part of the student body.
Justin Berkman of PrepScholar addresses the value of these rankings when it comes to drawing in students.
“As much as some of us like to discount the importance of reputation, it can play a significant role. Colleges that are ranked more highly often have more motivated and academically gifted students,” Berkman said.
“[C]olleges that do well in the rankings tend to have influential alumni and professional connections that can have a positive impact on your future,” Berkman continued. “Similarly, graduates from well-ranked schools are often favored when they apply to professional or graduate schools.”
It’s important to note that U.S. News and World Report doesn’t include all colleges across the country but simply the large majority. Berkman also cited that their rankings are the most influential in terms of how it affects public opinion, so Jewell’s high placement in these categories shows that the college is on a good track.
Despite not being in the official press release by the College, Jewell also ranked in the top 50 for schools providing social mobility in the Midwest. Social mobility refers to a college’s ability to provide outcomes for economically disadvantaged students, adapt to the social climate and ensure that students feel accepted. While Jewell is still making efforts to improve this aspect of the school, a ranking in the top 50 is sure to signal progress.