Murray State University receives top rankings for 18th consecutive year from U.S.News 2009 edition of America’s Best Colleges — only Kentucky public to be ranked for that length of time in guide

The annual rankings by U.S.News & World Report are out today with Murray State University (MSU) appearing among the nation’s top public universities for the 18th consecutive year. The U.S.News college guide, America’s Best Colleges, has Murray ranked seventh in the Top Public University-Master’s/South division. MSU has appeared in the top 10 of that category for the past several years. Also, the university holds its spot in the top 20 at number 18 in the Best Universities-Master’s/South, which includes both privates and publics.

When reviewing overall scores, Murray State’s comes in at 10th in the nation among public universities.

“The fact that we are Kentucky’s only public university to be listed in the U.S.News top tier for 18 years is quite a statement about our faculty, staff and students,” says Dr. Randy J. Dunn, president of Murray State University. “Our rankings once again this year exemplify the consistency, quality and dedication to teaching and learning that exist on our campus. And we do all of this with some of the lowest tuition pricing in the Commonwealth. We believe we are a jewel in the crown of Kentucky’s higher education system.”

America’s Best Colleges is seen by many as the premier guide of its type in the country. Guide editors Robert J. Morse and Samuel Flanigan note that for families, the U.S.News rankings provide an excellent starting point to search out prospective schools. “If you combine the information in this book with college visits, interviews and your own intuition, our rankings can be a powerful tool in your quest for college,” they explain.

The guide continues to use the same indicators of academic quality in determining the standings that it has for many years — peer assessment, retention, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, graduation rates and alumni giving.

In addition to the U.S.News recognition, Murray State was recently rated as one of “America’s Best Colleges” by Forbes.com. MSU was the highest ranked Kentucky public university on the list.

In late July, the Murray State men’s basketball program found itself rated by ESPN as one of the top 30 All-Time Best Basketball Programs in the nation. Murray State is tied with powerhouse Connecticut for the fifth-best winning streak in the country (21 seasons).

The university has also earned honors for its academic quality and affordability from Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, Barron’s, Money Guide and Princeton Review.

“Rankings are important to us at Murray State because they’ve proven important to our present and prospective students, their parents and other external audiences of the university,” Dunn says. “They provide one more avenue for us to reveal to the world the many programs and services that we do very well here. The rankings also provide us the opportunity to compare ourselves with institutions of similar quality across the country — and in this way, they serve an aspirational purpose for us. We find Murray State University being in-league with some of the finest public colleges and universities in the country.”

Highlights of the college rankings will be published in the Sept. 1 issue of U.S.News & World Report, on newsstands Monday, Aug. 25. The 2009 America’s Best Colleges guidebook will hit newsstands on Tuesday, Aug. 26.

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