The U.S. World Report ranks SIU’s Carbondale campus at 226th in national universities

By Claire Cowley, Staff Reporter

U.S. News and World Report announced SIU has ranked highest as one of the best national universities for 2019 in the country.

The U.S. World Report ranked SIU’s Carbondale campus at 226th in national universities for performance across a set of widely accepted markers for achievement. 

“We’re still considered in the national universities rankings,” Rae Goldsmith, SIU communications officer said.


Goldsmith said the university’s ranking can go up and down in the list. The rankings are very volatile which can change an institution’s rank.

“So, we watch them,” Goldsmith said. “We don’t live and die by them, but they’re sort of a good housekeeping seal of approval so that people that see us in the rankings, so they see where we compare with other institutions.”

Goldsmith said she thinks it’s important to understand that ranking is a snapshot in time. They’re not where SIU is going and they’re not where SIU has been, so they’re how SIU might look at the time the rankings are done.

Sarah Stocking, a freshman studying business, said she came to SIU because her father went here.

“Just to continue the legacy,” Stocking said.

Stocking also said feels the university’s ranking is important.

“That’s what people look at when they’re applying like they want to know that they’re going to a good place that has good resources,” Stocking said.


Goldsmith said people can’t make all of their judgments by rankings.

“We always tell particularly prospective students that the best thing they can do is come visit the campus,” Goldsmith said. “Because that’s how they’re going to be able to get a feel about whether this is the right place or not.”

The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education ranked SIU among more than 1,000 U.S. colleges in regard to 15 individual performance indicators designed to answer the questions that matter to students and their families, the WSJ/THE college rankings online statement, said.  

“When you look at the fact that they’re more than 2,004 higher education institutions in this country, that puts us in the top 20 percent,” Goldsmith said.

(Editor’s Note: The report is out of 312 universities, not ranking SIU out of all higher education institutions in the country.)

Goldsmith said they look at resources, which is how much SIU spends to educate students and engagement, which is how engaged students say they are.

“They also look at outcomes, which are graduation rates and employment after graduation,” Goldsmith said.

Goldsmith said SIU has more than 200 academic programs that help the institution do well in the ranking.

“They look at [the] environment that they define as the diversity of our campus that includes our international students, our racial and ethnic diversity and that’s part of our historic mission, so we always do well there,” Goldsmith said.

According to US News’ website, Southern Illinois University’s Carbondale campus has a 0.5 out 1. The website says the higher the number is, the more diverse the student population is.

U.S. News factors in the total proportion of minority students, leaving out international students, and the overall mix of groups,” the website said. “The data are drawn from each institution’s fall 2017 total undergraduate student body.”

Ladeejah Boulden, a sophomore studying social work, said she feels like although SIU is diverse there is an evident sense of division among students.

“It’s more so self-segregation here,” Boulden said.

Boulden said she noticed there were mostly black people on East Campus and white people were on West Campus.

“But since they’ve closed down the towers everyone’s kind of mixed and mingled over on West Campus,” Boulden said. “I feel like there will be a lot of conflict there because they [sic] trying to make us mix and mingle,” Boulden said.

Boulden also said if she could rank SIU out of ten, she would give the institution a four in diversity.

Goldsmith said she thinks SIU has been successful in the specific assessments because of SIU’s historic mission of serving people from all backgrounds.

University of California in Los Angeles ranked number 1 in top public national university and University of California at Berkeley came in second.

For more information on national college rankings visit the U.S. News and World Report higher education online release.  

Staff reporter Claire Cowley can be reached at

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