UW-Eau Claire among top ranked universities

Mallory Williams

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Using a new methodology Forbes ranked UWEC 260th in the nation in their America’s Top Colleges List.

UW-Eau Claire has been ranked in Forbes 2021 rankings of America’s top colleges.

Forbes considers the top 600 public and private universities in the United States. UW-Eau Claire was ranked 260th nationally and fourth in the state.

“This year the Forbes report ranked colleges and universities in the U.S. based on the return on investment and outcomes those schools delivered to their students,” Chancellor James Schmidt said. “Schools placed well if their students graduated on time, secured high salaries, left college with low debt, and went on to have successful careers.”

According to Forbes, the average grant aid for UW-Eau Claire is $3,909 and the average debt is $7,063. The median 10 year salary for UW-Eau Claire students is $94,300. 

This year Forbes also looked at the number of graduates who, in the last four years, have won Fulbright, Truman, Goldwater, Rhodes, Gates and Cambridge scholarships.

“We are one of the top universities in the country in terms of awarding Fulbright scholars, and we have had dozens of Truman, Goldwater scholarship winners, including two Rhodes Scholars,” Schmidt said. “Being recognized this year, after managing 18 months of the pandemic, is especially gratifying.” 

The ranking also allows more students to know about UW-Eau Claire and look into it when choosing where to go to school.

“There are so many top-notch things packed into this mid-size, mid-western university, and making sure a wider array of students are aware of those benefits is very important,” said Isabel Walters, interim director of admissions.

Schmidt said this ranking shows how hard students and faculty work. 

Schmidt said he is, “incredibly proud of our faculty and staff, whose innovative thinking and hard work create extraordinary opportunities for all our students.”

With the new methodology Forbes used this year, they also took into consideration who is attending schools, not just what students are doing after graduation. 

“More low and moderate income students are attending UW-Eau Claire because we’re affordable and we offer a transformative educational experience,” said Schimdt. “UW-Eau Claire also offers students of color and students from historically excluded populations the opportunity to learn and engage with others in a more equitable, diverse, inclusive environment.” 

To many, these rankings show in a real way the pride they have for UW-Eau Claire.

“Rankings, like the one recently in Forbes, is a tangible reflection of the excellent academics, atmosphere, and opportunities being offered to students at UW-Eau Claire,” Walters said.

The rankings speak volumes about UW-Eau Claire commitment to its students.

According to Schmidt, the rankings “speak to our commitment to exemplary student-faculty research, providing multicultural and international learning experiences and preparing our graduates to be leaders after they leave campus.” 

Schmidt expects that in following years UW-Eau Claire will rank even higher and hopes to do this by continuing to support students.

“We want to ensure UW-Eau Claire graduates have the tools to be successful, the experience of a liberal arts education and the opportunity to find success when they leave this beautiful campus,” Schmidt said.

Williams can be reached at [email protected].