Campus ranked nationally

Kristin Kovalsky, News Reporter

Winona State University has been ranked in three separate reports for the 2020 year.

Winona State was ranked the number two public institution in Minnesota by U.S. News and World Report, was ranked on Princeton Review’s list of “Best in the Midwest” for the 16th consecutive year and was also ranked on “America’s 100 Best College Buys” for the 24th consecutive year.

Andrea Northam, interim vice president for university advancement, said the rankings are determined by surveys as well as public data.

“The U.S. News has a data-based component as well as a peer evaluation data set where in the U.S. News team submits evaluations to different peer institutions across the Midwest for our particular information, where in a university president would be asked to evaluate their opinion of Winona State,” Northam said.

The rankings are an evaluation of how Winona State is successful compared to other universities.

“It’s a nice external evaluation of the work we do here at Winona State, and it reflects accurately the emphasis that we have on student success and programmatic excellence,” Northam said.

Rankings are used as a measure to show the successes of students and programs.

Brian Jicinsky, director of undergraduate admissions, said some future students look at rankings to determine their university choice.

Jicinsky said prospective students may look at rankings and see colleges they have not heard of or they see a college that has risen to a higher ranking, so from there they investigate further.

Rankings are not always a deciding factor for future students, but when it comes to programs, students may be looking for that.

“Some students may use rankings as a deciding factor, we don’t see it as much with regional public institutions but for some students they are looking at certain programs that are ranked high, and having ranking be a part of that factor could certainly be part of their decision,” Jicinsky said.

Jincinsky said the things the university does well is what reflects in the rankings.

“There are certain things we do well that reflects well on the ranking,” Jincinsky said. “We have a focus on retention rate, not for the sake of the rankings but as a sake for it’s vital for our success and we want our students to be successful. Retention rates are important, graduation rates are important, having smaller class sizes is important.”

When it comes to recruiting students, the university cannot rely on the rankings as a strategy for recruitment of students.

“It’s nice to be ranked, but there’s more to it. Recruitment and admission cannot rely solely just on rankings, but it’s a nice story to incorporate as part of our overall story to students,” Jincinsky said.

Winona State’s goal is not to be ranked, but to ensure that students and programs are successful.