UMSL Ranks as Top University in Missouri
by Wesley Baucom, Editor-in-Chief
In a recent release, GradReports, a website dedicated to ranking universities based on salaries of their alumni, has ranked the University of Missouri-St. Louis 11th in It’s an impressive score, especially considering the stiff competition with other colleges like Webster and Truman state (which UMSL has placed higher than). Then of course you have more prestigious universities, like Washington University and Saint Louis University, which have ranked higher. As the score is broken down, it’s clear to see how UMSL was placed where it is.
When looking at the score number, UMSL’s score is 46.49. This number is created based on the median of alumni salaries, which is then compared to alumni from other universities studying in comparable fields, all with data taken from the U.S. Department of Education. For comparison, the top university is WashU, which holds a score of 90.06. Then the lowest scoring school, Missouri State University, is ranked at 25th place with a score of 25.17. Considering the cost of tuition, UMSL’s ranking is still quite impressive, as the only schools in the top ten with comparable low-cost of tuition, are all schools within the University of Missouri system. Webster University, for example, is listed at #12, but their tuition costs are nearly triple that of UMSL.
In a press release regarding these rankings, Sung Ree, CEO of Optimal that owns GradReports, wanted to ensure a measured and more sure-fire way of choosing the right universities for success, especially in these trying times. “...now more than ever, students and their families are in need of data that demonstrates earnings outcomes, giving them the ability to plan for the future and also feel confident in their decisions.” She went on to say that what seems to be the best, just might not be the right one for you. Prestige isn’t always the determining factor for post-graduate success. “Quite a few surprising, lesser-known colleges appear high on our rankings as well, illustrating that it’s not always the most recognized, exclusive or expensive schools that will deliver the best financial outcome. And that’s an important message we want our rankings to convey: that traditional expectations do not always match reality.” In the trials that we face everyday, it’s important to choose what’s going to work for you.
I spoke with Sarah Glass, a representative for GradReports, more about what this score means for UMSL. “What is clear to me, is that the university has put in the effort necessary to help students in various degree programs thrive in their careers after graduation.” This is the first year that GradReports has put out a scorecard. What this means is that the findings are relatively fresh, and based solely on salary reports, which is important when considering tuition costs and getting a job after school. “Instead of relying on subjective data (such as prestige), [Post-Graduate Salary Data] gives prospective and current students the opportunity to compare schools by more objective, measurable data.” That being said, UMSL may not be the highest-ranking school out there, but it’s still a competitive school. Even though UMSL is, according to the report, doing what’s necessary to provide a quality education, what more can it do to improve this score? Glass continues by saying “A school can improve its ranking position by continuing to create and tailor degree programs for students that will help these students find relevant, high-earning work after graduating. Furthermore, colleges that help support students in finding careers through strong career centers and alumni networks can often produce graduates more prepared to find high-earning jobs soon after college.”
If you ask any of the students or faculty at UMSL, they’d tell you that it’s still a good school, report or no report, especially in the region. This school has always prided itself on giving students in the area opportunities that they wouldn’t normally have. This score is only a reflection of that standard. An affordable, high-quality education is something hard to come by, and from what it looks like, UMSL is succeeding in that regard.
To see UMSL's score and to see more rankings, you can check out here.