CROOKSTON -- The University of Minnesota Crookston has been ranked one of the best in the region in the latest rankings from U.S.News and World Report released this month.

The university took the top spot for best Midwest public regional colleges. The campus has ranked in the top four consecutively for 24 years.

Chancellor Mary Holz-Clause noted that, while there are many college rankings throughout the country, the U.S. News and World Report has “been a consistent guide for creating meaningful rankings based on real and substantive data.”

“Being at or near the top for 24 consecutive years is something to be proud of, though we never take it for granted,” she said. “We are a university that believes in continuous improvement. We will celebrate these accomplishments then quickly move toward the notion of how we can still do better.”

Holz-Clause applauded the work of faculty and staff who work to help students each day.

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“Our faculty and staff work so hard to ensure that our students have a good experience that is affordable, and that they're able to graduate with really low student debt,” she said.

Other regional universities included on the U.S. News rankings included:

  • Dickinson State at No. 2

  • Valley City State at No. 4

  • Mayville State at No. 5

The University of Minnesota Crookston also ranked #18 in top performers on social mobility. This indicator measures how well schools graduated students who received federal Pell Grants, U.S. News and World Report says on its website. Students receiving Pell Grants typically come from households whose family incomes are less than $50,000 annually, though most Pell Grant money goes to students with a total family income below $20,000.

This is the second year U.S. News has published a social mobility ranking.

Holz-Clause said the university has seen an uptick in Pell-eligible students since 2015, when about 29% of students were eligible for the grant to 35% in 2018.

“Pell eligibility and their rankings are all about affordability and access and then the success of those students,” she said. “As a land grant, that really needs to be our paramount mission.”