Commencement Livestream

Watch the 140th Commencement ceremony live. Saturday, May 11 at 10 a.m.


Watch Live


Date Posted: September 14, 2020 Author: Randon Coffey

NEVADA, MO—Today, U.S. News & World Report announced that Cottey College is ranked #1 among its 2021 Best Regional Colleges. In total, 76 colleges were ranked from 12 states comprising the Midwest region.

Cottey was ranked in four additional categories in the Midwest region from U.S. News & World Report. Cottey is ranked #1 among Best Value Schools, #3 in Social Mobility, #4 in Schools with Largest Proportion of International Students, and #6 in Lowest Student Debt Load at Graduation.

“We are again pleased and honored to be recognized by the U.S. News & World Report for the outstanding education and opportunities that our College offers to our students. We find it especially noteworthy that Cottey is ranked as a top college in the Midwest for the fifth consecutive year, this year as #1!” said Jann Weitzel, Ph.D., president of Cottey College.

Rankings by respected organizations such as U.S. News & World Report can provide college-bound students and their parents with valuable information to compare merits of different education programs. According to their website, U.S. News & World Report uses 50 different types of numerical rankings and lists to help students narrow their college search.

Colleges ranked in the Best Regional College category focus almost entirely on the undergraduate experience and offer a broad range of programs in the liberal arts in fields such as business, education, the sciences and humanities. Regional colleges include both public and private institutions.

Colleges ranked in the Best Value College category take into account a college’s academic quality based on its U.S. News Best Colleges ranking and the 2019-20 net cost of attendance for a student who received the average level of need-based financial aid.

The Lowest Student Debt Load at Graduation ranking indicates the median amount of debt for 2018 baccalaureate graduates. The data includes loans borrowed by students from the federal government.

Cottey’s proportion of international students (13%) earned the college a #4 ranking as College with the Largest Proportion of International Students.

The Social Mobility ranking is an indication of how well colleges graduated students who received federal Pell Grants. These students 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. For the reporting period, 64% of Cottey’s entering class were Pell Grant recipients.

“Rankings assist students and their parents/guardians in differentiating among colleges by providing information about institutional quality,” said Dr. Weitzel. “Our institution’s commitment to student success is illustrated by these measurements which include small class sizes, strong retention and graduation rates, a low student to faculty ratio, and the percentage of full-time, terminally-qualified faculty leading students in the classroom. These critical markers, and others, are part of students’ decision processes when choosing the college that will best meet their academic needs as they plan toward their future.”

“In addition, the rankings help with name recognition. There are people who will see these rankings who might not have heard of Cottey otherwise,” Dr. Weitzel added.

Cottey is one of five schools in Missouri to be ranked in the top 50 as a Best Regional College and the only women’s college included in the Midwest rankings. The rankings are available online at

Among the criteria on which U.S. News & World Report bases its rankings are the following: retention, assessment by peers and counselors, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, graduation rate performance, and alumni giving rate.

“I am extremely proud of our College, our talented students, and our outstanding faculty and staff members,” said Dr. Weitzel. “These rankings are a testament to the dedication and hard work of our faculty and staff, who guide our students as they create their incredible futures.”

Randon Coffey

About the author

Randon Coffey