US News and World Report to release rankings of colleges across the nation

Today, U.S. News and World Report will be releasing data regarding the rankings of colleges within the United States for the upcoming 2015 academic year. 

Updated rankings for National and Regional Universities, as well as National Liberal Arts and Regional Colleges will be published live on usnews.com.

Chief data analyst Robert Morse has worked for the U.S. News and World Report Company since 1976. 

Through yearly surveys and other methods, he has been able to compile annual lists of the Best Colleges and Best Graduate Schools. Morse pays close attention to the trends surrounding higher education in order to make rankings as accurate as possible for prospective students.

The methodologies used to rank colleges according to U.S. News and World Report, “rests on two pillars. The formula uses quantitative measures that education experts have proposed as reliable indicators of academic quality, and it’s based on our researched view of what matters in education.”

In order to be ranked, U.S. colleges are first categorized as national universities, national liberal arts colleges, regional universities or regional colleges based on the university’s mission statement. This is referred to as the Carnegie Classification.

Some universities may remain unranked if there are not enough respondents, or if SAT and ACT scores are not used in the admission process specific to that institution.

As of 2014, Sonoma State University was ranked No. 42 under the category Top Regional Universities West.

Sonoma State shared the No. 42 spot with California Baptist University, California State University, Chico, Fresno Pacific University, Oklahoma Christian University and University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.

As a teaser for this years ranking of Sonoma State, U.S New and World Report states on their website: “[Sonoma State is] located in Rohnert Park, California, Sonoma State University (SSU) offers the nation’s only program that focuses exclusively on the business side of the wine industry. Outside the classroom, Sonoma State University students can join more than 100 clubs and pledge with more than 20 fraternities and sororities.” 

The in-state and out-of-state tuition is also mentioned, along with the student enrollment total and setting, which is listed as suburban on the site. 

Sonoma State is home to many academic and extra-curricular programs, with 45 bachelor’s degree programs, 16 master’s degree programs and roughly 269 richly landscaped acres to the Rohnert Park campus.

Recent additions and renovations to the school, such as the addition of the Student Center, make the campus arguably more beautiful and modern than ever.

The university is well known for its fully furnished dorms that house over 3,000 students, 90 percent of which are freshman.

“A big factor that I took into consideration when choosing Sonoma State University was the dorms,” said third-year student Julia Provost. “The fact that they weren’t all communal and knowing I’d have my own space made the transition from living at home to living on campus so much easier. The school is just comfortable and student friendly.”

While Sonoma State University has a variety of athletic teams, many students believe the university is lacking in school spirit. 

“I wish we had a football team like other colleges do, and it’s unfortunate that there isn’t much school spirit for the sports teams we do have,” said student Sage Ryan, “that being said, I love Sonoma’s addition of the new Student Center, and also the fact that it’s a wet campus for those of legal drinking age.”

Be sure to check out Sonoma State’s ranking for the 2015 year online at the U.S. News website  today at usnews.com.