By Derek Woellner —

University of Wisconsin–Stout has recently been ranked the 17th best public college in the Midwest by U.S. News and World Report magazine. The 2015 rankings, released Sept. 9, come as the 30th edition of the magazine’s aim to provide college applicants a resource for finding the best schools.

“I’m not surprised, I like UW–Stout as a public school,” commented Nate Olinger, a fourth year psychology student here, when asked what he thought about the ranking. In his major and in the majors of his friends, Olinger is impressed with the hands on experience students get here. “It puts us ahead of the curve when it comes to applying for jobs,” he explained.

Chancellor Bob Meyer also commented on the subject saying, “These rankings affirm what most people already know: that UW–Stout provides a great education at an affordable price.” He went on to say, “Our enrollment report will be out next week, and we very well could set a record. That tells me students and their families are looking for higher education that will lead to a meaningful career after graduation.”

In recent years, UW–Stout has been climbing consistently up the rankings landing on the number 15 spot in 2014. That momentum has ended, however, as UW–Stout dropped two positions from last year.

Our friends to the east at University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire also lost ground falling from their previous number 5 rank to 6th place.  Other University of Wisconsin schools that topped the list are La Crosse (tied 4th), Whitewater (12th) and Stevens Point (tied 13th). Universities of Wisconsin Oshkosh (tied 19th), River Falls (tied 19th), Green Bay (tied 22nd), Platteville (tied 24th) and Superior (tied 33rd) also ranked high on the list.

“The rankings reflect the fact that UW–Stout provides students with the optimal mix of applied learning with a solid liberal arts background,” said Jackie Weissenburger, provost and vice chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs. “We give students both a real-world experience while developing critical thinking, problem-solving abilities and communication and leadership skills,”

The rankings are based on peer assessments, freshman-to-sophomore retention rates, graduation rates, class sizes, student-faculty ratios, ACT test scores, graduation rank of incoming freshmen, applicants’ acceptance rate and alumni giving.

Stout tied with Walsh University in Ohio for the 65th best overall score in the Midwest, placing us right in the mix with private institutions. In first place is Creighton University in Nebraska.  The highest ranked overall University of Wisconsin school is UW–La Crosse tied for 31st place with UW–Eau Claire right behind in 33rd.


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