Before the start of 2015-16 academic year, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) reaffirmed Truman’s accreditation for an additional 10 years. The University has been fully accredited by the HLC since 1914. Considering the level of acclaim Truman has received in recent years for quality, it should come as no surprise that interim monitoring was not needed to extend accreditation.
The freshmen that came to campus this fall have never known a time when Truman was not at the top of the U.S. News & World Report rankings. For the 19th year in a row, Truman was named the No. 1 public university in the Midwest regional category. The University also tied for the No. 8 spot overall in the Midwest region among both private and public institutions that provide a full range of undergraduate and master’s programs. That placed Truman one spot better than the previous year’s ranking and a full 10 spots higher than the second-best public school on the list. Truman far outpaced the other Missouri public schools on the list, the closest of which was more than 50 spots lower.
In addition to holding on to the top spot, Truman can be found in several other categories in the 2016 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankings. The school was again No. 1 in the Midwest region in the “A Strong Commitment to Undergraduate Teaching” section. Truman was the only public school from the region to make the list.
Truman was also recognized on the “Most Innovative Schools” list, coming in tied at No. 3 overall in the Midwest. Of the five schools listed for the region, Truman was the only public university, and one of only five public schools in the nation, to be included. This was the first time U.S. News & World Report has included the “Most Innovative Schools” list in the annual rankings. College presidents, provosts and admissions deans were asked to nominate schools that are making the most innovative improvements in terms of curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology or facilities.
Another new appearance for Truman came on the “A-Plus Schools for B Students” list, which acknowledges institutions where students “have a decent shot at being accepted and thriving” because “spirit and hard work could make all the difference to the admissions office.” Truman was also recognized as one of the “Best Colleges for Veterans.”
In terms of affordability, Truman was the No. 1 public school, and No. 5 overall, in the “Great Schools, Great Prices” section for the Midwest.
Affordability earned the University recognition from multiple sources in the past year. Consumers Digest rated Truman as the No. 1 value in the nation among public colleges and universities. The magazine examined more than 2,000 U.S. schools that offer four-year degrees. In addition to a list of the top 50 public schools, separate top 25 lists for private schools and private liberal arts schools were combined to establish the top 100 best values. Truman, the No. 1 public school the last time Consumers Digest examined higher education in 2011, was the only Missouri public school to make this year’s list.
Truman was also the only Missouri public school to be included as a “Best Buy” in the 2016 Fiske Guide to Colleges. Only 20 public institutions were profiled as part of a select group of schools noted for quality academic offerings and affordable cost.
For the second consecutive year, Truman earned the No. 2 spot in the Master’s University category of the annual Washington Monthly College Rankings. Once again, Truman was the No. 1 public school on the list and the only Missouri public university in the entire top 100. This list is unique in that it is based primarily on civic engagement, research and social mobility. Schools received high marks for contributing to society, enrolling low-income students, helping them graduate and keeping costs affordable.
Along those lines, Truman garnered additional praise in the overall introduction to this year’s Washington Monthly rankings. In the “Hidden Gems” section, editors noted that many universities across the country “serve as the workhorse institutions of American higher education, providing affordable degrees with strong ties to regional economies,” and specifically praised Truman for its graduation rates, affordable tuition and success at enrolling students in both the Peace Corps and the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC).
Truman closed out the year by earning a spot on Kiplinger’s Personal Finance list of the “Top 300 Best College Values of 2016.” Coming in at No. 65 overall, the University was ranked No. 15 among public institutions, an improvement of four spots from the previous year. Truman’s total cost per year is the sixth best among all of the schools in Kiplinger’s rankings. Among public institutions, Truman’s spot at No. 15 is enough to make it the highest-rated Missouri school on the list and the only university in the state to crack the top 50.