In addition, the University received high scores in the Best Undergraduate Teaching category, which appeared for the first time in this year's issue. Representatives from peer institutions who responded to the peer assessment survey identified Drake as a school where faculty have a strong commitment to teaching.
The University, which also improved its student-faculty ratio to 13:1 from 14:1 last year, was sixth out of a dozen institutions selected for the category.
"I am delighted that this year's rankings also take note of our exceptional faculty and their passionate commitment to teaching," said Drake President David Maxwell.
"This is really a testament to the dedication and achievements of Drake's wonderful people: the teacher-scholars of the faculty and the professional staff, who work"¨together to provide an exceptional learning environment for our students," said Drake Provost Michael J. Renner.
In the "Great Schools, Great Prices" category, Drake placed seventh, according to the magazine's "Best Colleges" issue. This is the 11th consecutive year that Drake has been listed in this category.
The rankings show that 56 percent of Drake students receive grants based on financial need. Drake students also receive tens of millions of dollars each year in scholarships based on academic merit, which are not calculated in this category.
"Drake offers a truly world-class education, and has worked hard for many years to keep the cost moderate so that this opportunity can be accessible to every strong student," Renner said. "We are very proud of the value inherent in the combination of a strong liberal arts foundation combined with professional preparation that are the hallmarks of a Drake education."
One of 142 Midwest universities that provide a full range of undergraduate and master's programs, Drake's score for academic quality (peer assessment) is a 4.0 for the second year in a row. This rank marks the third highest score in the entire country for academic quality among the 572 master's institutions in the nation ranked by U.S. News & World Report.
"We know from a variety of indicators that our colleagues in higher education see Drake University as one of the very best master's universities in the country, and our peer assessment score in the U.S. News and World Report rankings reflect what we at Drake already know," Maxwell added.
The rankings also show that the academic profile of students in Drake's entering class has improved while the University has become more selective in its admission of first-year students