Multiple national college rankings released in recent weeks have placed George Mason University among America’s top 50 public universities, top 100 among all public and private institutions, and Virginia’s No. 1 public university for social mobility.
Released today, U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges 2024 ranks Mason at #51 among all public universities and #105 among all universities nationwide. Mason also remains a top 20 university nationwide for innovation and a top 50 (#49) for veterans, according to these national rankings.
The rankings are confirming what we here at Mason and Virginians have known for some time; based on our performance, George Mason University is one of America’s top 50 public universities,” Mason President Gregory Washington said. “Further, today’s rankings reflect the value and performance families are looking for from a college education, and Mason’s year-over-year enrollment increases and placement of our graduates confirm that we are now a destination for graduates from Virginia and beyond.”
Social mobility now factored
The most significant change in this year’s rankings is the addition of social mobility factors to ranking methodologies, in recognition of growing public demand for more affordable, inclusive, and accessible universities. Mason places No. 1 in Virginia for public universities across all rankings that measure social mobility. Among public universities nationwide, Mason ranks #41 with the Wall Street Journal and #34 with Washington Monthly National University Rankings, both for social mobility, and #19 in the New York Times Top U.S. Colleges with the Greatest Economic Diversity.
“All students deserve access to a college education and experience that will deliver on a promise to transform their lives and set them up for lifelong success. Mason delivers in access, innovation, excellence, and opportunity. We are not just in the education business – we are in the success business,” added Washington.
National consensus about Mason
Mason is now a top 50 public university in the Wall Street Journal Best Colleges in the U.S. and Forbes America’s Top Colleges. In addition, U.S. News & World Report put Mason in a tie at #51 (up from #64) among public universities, and Washington Monthly ranked Mason 60th among public universities.
Among all universities, both public and private, Mason earns a tied ranking of 105th in U.S. News (up from #137), 95th with the Wall Street Journal (up from #179 in 2021), 93rd with Forbes, and 91st with Washington Monthly (up from #94).
A place to belong and succeed
These high-profile recognitions follow other recent rankings that highlight Mason for being one of America’s most inclusive and welcoming universities. FIRE, the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, updated its rankings this month, naming Mason No. 8 in the nation for First Amendment observation, up from 17th last year.
Campus Pride also gave Mason its “Best of the Best” designation again for offering safe and welcoming campuses to the LGBTQ+ community, one of just 30 universities in the nation and the only university in Virginia to earn this distinction.
“The measurements of success are starting to change to favor institutions that are more inclusive and less exclusive,” Washington said. “That adjustment is long overdue. Mason is all about helping hard-working students reach their Point B, no matter where their Point A happens to be.”
The university’s total student enrollment has surpassed 40,000 this year, a first for the Commonwealth of Virginia, including the largest freshman class in school history with 4,500 students. Mason’s graduation rates are higher than the national average. In addition, 86% of recent graduates are employed in the greater Washington, D.C., area and 89% in positions related to their career goals.
Currently, about one in four Mason students is in the first generation of their family to attend college, and a slightly higher percentage of Mason students qualify for Federal Pell Grants, which are awarded to undergraduates with exceptional financial need.
This year, U.S. News also ranked several of Mason’s undergraduate programs in the top 100 nationally, including business, economics, psychology, computer science, and teaching.
Over the years, Mason has been recognized in numerous college rankings as Virginia’s top public university for diversity, innovation, cybersecurity, homeland security, service to military veterans, and service to students outside the traditional college ages. Check out all of Mason’s updated rankings: gmu.edu/news/rankings.
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