U.S. News and World Report ranked the University the third best public university in the country Monday in its 2022-23 ranking of Best Colleges. The report also ranked the University as the top university in Virginia among both private and public institutions.
After three consecutive years as the fourth best public university, the University rose to the number three spot this year.
University President Jim Ryan reacted to the news in an Instagram post Monday.
“Rankings are always an imprecise measure of quality, but [I am] nonetheless gratified to see U.Va. moving up to the number three spot of best public universities in the 2023 U.S. News and World Report Rankings,” Ryan said.
The University shares the No. 3 spot with the University of Michigan. The University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of California, Berkeley, are tied for the top public university.
The University remains No. 25 best university overall for the second consecutive year in a row. The top two overall institutions are Princeton University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
U.S. News analyzes graduation and retention rates, social mobility, graduation rate performance, undergraduate academic reputation, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources per student, average alumni giving rate and graduate indebtedness to determine its ratings.
The University also scored well in the graduation and retention category. It is the top public university in the country in terms of graduation and retention, and it ranks No. 11 in that category among all private and public universities.
The University currently has a first-year student retention rate of 97 percent and a graduation rate of 94 percent. This year, 90 percent of Pell Grant recipients graduated from the University. Pell Grants are given to students whose family incomes are typically less than $50,000 per year.
The Class of 2026 has the highest rate of first-generation college students in University history at 15.6 percent — surpassing the Class of 2025 by 2.6 percent. Additionally, 35.6 percent of students qualified for need-based student aid.
The University was also named the No. 9 school for veterans, which comes after the Veteran Student Center opened in Newcomb Hall last September.
Among individual schools, the McIntire School of Commerce was ranked as the No. 8 best undergraduate business school in the country. McIntire offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees in Commerce. The undergraduate nursing program was also ranked No. 15 in the country.
U.S. News ranked the University as the 32nd best value university nationally. The University is one of the only public universities that meets 100 percent of every undergraduate student’s financial need and offers admission to students without consideration of their family income.