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Seeing the Value in Higher Education, USU a Star in Rankings

Thursday, Sep. 03, 2015

one of the flower beds in bloom at Utah State University

Landscaping on the Utah State University campus adds to its appeal in its scenic Cache Valley setting.

campus activity on the USU Quad

The Quad on USU's campus hosts multiple student activities throughout the year.

As high school students around the country return from summer vacation, many families start thinking beyond high school and begin to zero in on college decisions.

As rising college costs and student debt climb to become increasing issues, students attending Utah State University are getting a great deal for a high-quality education at a competitive research institution. In fact, Forbes ranked USU as the #4 university in the nation for lowest tuition in its “America’s Top Colleges” in late 2014.

“USU has the largest residential campus in the state and is one of only two state research institutions” said Katie Nielsen, USU’s director of Admissions. “We have an academic and social experience that cannot be matched in the state of Utah.”

As the university celebrates the fact that it received more than $220 million of new sponsored awards funding in fiscal year 2014 — the highest level of external support ever recorded — it knows the impact the funding has on a student’s education. As Utah’s land-grant university, USU is able to extend a variety of research opportunities for students not only at the main campus in Logan, but at locations located across the state.

Prospective students looking at the university soon realize that USU can offer an educational opportunity that not only excels in its classroom offerings and in the increasing research opportunities it provides, but that it is also friendly on a budget. The university has received many notable rankings in the past year touting its value, including:

  • #8 best public national university for graduates with the least debt (U.S. News & World Report, “Least Debt, Best Colleges, 2015”)

  • #14 university in the nation based on out of state tuition because of affordability, academic quality and accessibility (, “Best Colleges and Universities 2014”)

“College is a financial investment and USU provides the highest level of academics for an affordable price,” Nielsen said. “We also can provide options for any student in any situation, whether they want to move away for a college experience or stay close to home for financial or family obligations.” 

USU has three residential campuses and 30 regional campuses and sites, not including USU online.

Non-traditional prospective students looking for a good value will want to note that USU was ranked #13 in the nation for both its online bachelor’s and graduate education programs by U.S. News & World Report in 2015. Other rankings highlighting the university’s strength in online education are numerous and include:

  • #12 online bachelor’s program for veterans in the country (U.S. News & World Report, 2015)

  • #5 “Best Value Online College of 2015” (

  • #13 of the “30 Best Online Colleges 2015” (Great Value College)

  • #20 most affordable accredited online college in the nation in 2014 (Affordable Colleges Online)

“We have made great strides to become Utah’s premier online university, and in doing so we have also become one of the top-rated online programs in the country,” said Robert Wagner, USU’s executive vice provost and dean for Academic and Instructional Services. “The university views online course and degree delivery as an integral part of higher education’s future. We understand the demands of our consumer students for flexibility and choices when it comes to pursuing a college degree.”

Overall, the university has received many accolades on prestigious rankings over the years, including being named the #17 public university in the nation in Washington Monthly’s “National University Rankings 2014.” Other accolades include:

  • #25 of the “50 Most Underrated Colleges in America in 2015” (Business Insider)
  • #79 public university in the nation for 2015 (U.S. News & World Report, “Best Colleges 2015”)

As far as college towns go Logan is a great place and the rankings seem to agree. Niche ranked Logan as the #12 “Best College Town in America” in June 2015 and named Logan as one of the “50 Best College Towns to Live in Forever.” Finally, Business Insider ranked Logan as one of the “20 Best College Towns in America” in 2014.

Logan, known for its great location and outdoor amenities, is also safe. The area ranked as the #1 “Safest Metro in the West” by Law Street in 2015 and USU was ranked as the 7th “Safest College Campus in the United States” by in 2014.

Contact and writer: Maren Aller, USU Public Relations and Marketing, (435) 797-1355,

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