EKU Ranks Among 2024 Best Colleges by U.S. News and World Report

Published on September 29, 2023

By Sarah Bashford

Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) was once again listed among the 2024 Best Colleges by U.S. News and World Report. EKU ranked in the following categories: Nursing, National Universities, Top Public Schools and Top Performers on Social Mobility. 

EKU moved up 23 spots from last year in the Best Bachelor of Science in Nursing ranking, tying with California State University-San Bernandino at #183 for 2024. EKU’s #184 spot for Top Performers on Social Mobility places it first among public institutions in Kentucky. 

“Ranking first among Kentucky’s public institutions for social mobility reinforces our commitment as a School of Opportunity. Helping students who, otherwise, might not be able to attend college, and then supporting them through graduation and beyond is what we do best at EKU,” said EKU President David McFaddin. “I am a first-generation college graduate, and more than 50% of this year’s freshman class are the first in their families to attend college. We’re proud of our mission and the national recognition that showcases the excellent opportunities we offer to students.”

According to U.S. News and World Report, nearly 1,500 four-year bachelor’s degree-granting institutions were evaluated on measures reflecting academic quality and graduate outcomes. Campus culture, strength in specific majors and financial aid were also considered. Institutions ranked for social mobility were evaluated based on their success in “enrolling and graduating large proportions of disadvantaged students awarded with Pell Grants.” Factors also included first-generation graduation rates, in addition to the Pell Grant factor. EKU has consistently been recognized among U.S. News and World Report’s Best Colleges for several years. 

The rankings reflect EKU’s dedication to improving student opportunities, providing quality education from industry experts and maintaining affordability. 

In recent years, EKU has elevated commitments to students with innovative programs like EKU BookSmart and the Exceptional Eastern Experience (E3). Lessening the barriers to higher education, EKU BookSmart provides free textbooks to all degree-seeking students. E3 hosts year-round events to offer a comprehensive college experience and help ease the transition for new and transfer students.  

EKU has experienced a nearly 30% increase in freshman enrollment since 2020 during a period of national enrollment decline. The university's total enrollment is nearly 15,000 and retention is at an all-time high at nearly 80%. The U.S. News and World Report 2024 Best Colleges rankings add to a growing list of national accolades for EKU, including America’s Best Employers by Forbes, the 2023 Transfer Honor Roll by Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and No. 3 ranking in the Military Friendly® Schools review.