NU signNiagara University is again listed among the best colleges and universities in the North, and also designated as a “Best Value” institution in the region, according to rankings released today by U.S. News & World Report.

NU is listed 54th (up from 70th a year ago) among the 139 colleges and universities in the top tier of institutions in the northern United States that provide a full range of undergraduate and master’s degree programs.

In addition, the Catholic and Vincentian institution is one of 15 regional institutions deemed a “Best Value,” a calculation that takes into account a school’s academic quality and the 2012-13 net cost of attendance for a student who received the average level of need-based financial aid.

“The higher the quality of the program and the lower the cost, the better the deal,” reads the U.S. News website in reference to the “Best Value” rankings. “Only schools in or near the top half of their U.S. News ranking categories are included because U.S. News considers the most significant values to be among colleges that perform well academically.”

“Niagara’s continued placement among the top institutions in the region is a testament to the outstanding quality of our academic programs and professors, as well as the excellence of our outcomes in preparing graduates for life after college,” said the Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., president of Niagara University. “To also be recognized for the exceptional value that Niagara provides to students speaks directly to our mission as a Vincentian university, which is to always ‘do more.’”

The rankings, which are based on factors including peer assessment, tuition, acceptance rates, class sizes, graduation rates and average debt of graduates, will appear in U.S. News & World Report’s 2014 Best Colleges guidebook. They also appear online.

This year’s installment offers data on nearly 1,800 colleges and universities. Eligible schools are ranked on up to 16 different factors, each weighted for importance.

U.S. News says that it updated the methodology for the 2014 rankings to reflect the current state of college admissions and better measure student outcomes.

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