If applied to the latest U.S. News survey that recognizes America’s most innovative schools, the headline above could be, “Surprising University Ranks First in U.S. News List of Most Innovative Schools”. For the third consecutive year, Arizona State University was the #1 innovator among schools that included such elite universities as Stanford, MIT, Michigan, Harvard, Duke, Northeastern, and Carnegie Mellon.
Each year, U.S. News asks senior college administrators who participate in their Peer Assessment Survey to name the institutions they think are the most innovative. Presidents, provosts, and deans of admissions were requested to nominate 10 schools in the 2017 edition of the U.S. News Best Colleges rankings that they consider to be making the most innovative improvements in curriculum, faculty, student body, campus life, the application of technology, and facilities. This isn’t an objective measure. The Most Innovative Schools ranking is based solely on the responses to this question by administrators in the annual U.S. News Peer Assessment Survey.
The U.S. News procedure allows top college administrators to collectively identify schools that college-bound students may wish to investigate due to the advanced methods and practices that they have adopted. Some of the colleges on the Most Innovative Schools list don’t usually place high in the overall U.S. News rankings, e.g., Arizona State University, Georgia State University (#4), and Portland State University (tied at #10).
Some of the innovative characteristics of the top ten Most Innovative Schools are noted below:
- Arizona State University in Tempe – ASU again ranks first as the most innovative school in the U.S. One prominent success is an 80% improvement in graduation rate over the last 15 years. ASU is also the fastest growing research university in the country. From Ebola treatments to renewable-energy advances to helping protect the world’s water supply, ASU researchers are creating innovative ways to approach the world’s pressing issues. In the National Science Foundation’s latest Higher Education Research and Development rankings, ASU’s research expenditures placed it 10th out of 724 institutions without a medical school, ahead of Caltech, Princeton, and Carnegie Mellon. In total research expenditures among all institutions, ASU is ranked 48th out of 876, ahead of the Chicago, Brown and Princeton.
- Stanford University – Stanford’s location within the Silicon Valley region of California gives the school a distinct advantage regarding innovation. The school boasts the most graduates who have created successful technology start-ups, including several firms now valued at over $1 billion.
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology – This Cambridge, Massachusetts engineering and science hub recently announced the launch of a particle accelerator dubbed “The Engine”. This facility will enable the development of a number of breakthroughs in science and technology.
- Georgia State University – Georgia State recently applied big data mining methods to improve student outcomes, the Washington Post reported recently. For example, students whose financial aid is at risk due to poor grades are identified early and given small grants of up to $500 to improve scores and they also receive extra tutoring.
- Carnegie Mellon University – This Pittsburgh institution is known for excellence in science and technology education. Popular majors include information technology, electrical engineering, and computer science.
- Northeastern University – According to Business Insider, students at this Boston institution, “… have the unique opportunity to gain substantial work experience while they study toward their diplomas. Almost all complete a professional co-op or internship while enrolled and many go on to complete two or three.”
- University of Maryland in Baltimore County – UMBC receives acclaim for its success in preparing students of color in science, technology, engineering, and math. It also maintains a focus on research and engaging students in hand-on experience.
- University of Michigan in Ann Arbor – The main campus of the University of Michigan offers 50 courses in entrepreneurship to undergraduates and hosts more than 30 entrepreneurial student organizations.
- Harvard University – This Ivy League institution has had more Nobel laureates than any other school. The people of Harvard have received a total of 151 Nobels, far more than any other educational institution in the world.
- Duke University (tie) – Located in what is known as the Research Triangle due to its close proximity to the University of North Carolina and North Carolina State University, Duke recently completed a campaign that raised nearly $4 billion to solve complex global challenges.
- Portland State University (tie) – This public research university in Portland, Oregon has a business accelerator that’s home to over 30 startup companies in technology, bioscience, and clean tech. These companies have raised more venture capital than any other location in Oregon in the past three years.
IvySelect is a college admissions consulting firm that specializes in guiding students to admission at Ivy League and other top-tier institutions. Among the top ten Most Innovative Schools, IvySelect has successfully assisted multiple students gain admission to Harvard, Stanford, Duke, MIT, and Michigan. The complete list of elite colleges and universities to which our students have been admitted is far more extensive and includes all eight Ivy League institutions as well as Caltech, Chicago, Northwestern, Berkeley, UCLA, Amherst, Williams, Bowdoin, Middlebury, Swarthmore, Wellesley, and many more.