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Eastern ranked #1 public regional university in New England two years in a row

Published on September 14, 2020

Eastern ranked #1 public regional university in New England two years in a row

Eastern's J. Eugene Smith Library

Eastern Connecticut State University is the #1 ranked public regional university in New England for the second year in a row in this year’s U.S. News and World Report’s edition of “Best Colleges.” Released on Sept. 14, the report also shows that Eastern is again the highest ranked institution among Connecticut’s four state universities. 

Regional universities such as Eastern offer a broad range of undergraduate degrees and some master's degree programs, with limited doctoral programs. They are ranked based on 17 criteria that include peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, class size, faculty resources, admissions selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving.

“Given the uncertain and challenging times facing our nation as a result of COVID-19, I am delighted to see Eastern maintain its ranking as the #1 public regional university in New England,” said Eastern President Elsa Núñez. “This ranking reflects our university’s commitment to academic excellence and our faculty’s dedication to providing Eastern students with personal attention. I am especially pleased that we have been able to maintain our position for another year, despite the impact the pandemic has had on higher education.

“Students and their families turn to the Best Colleges rankings to help decide where to attend college. These newest rankings reaffirm that Eastern is providing a relevant and high-quality education on our beautiful residential campus.”

Eastern was also the 26th highest ranked public university in the North Region, which includes colleges and universities from New England, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland, and is known as the most competitive among the four regions that make up the U.S. News and World Report ranking system.

This year’s U.S. News and World Report rankings included reviews of more than 1,450 schools nationwide and are available at They will also be published in the Best Colleges 2021 Guidebook, published by U.S. News & World Report and available on newsstands on Oct. 27.

For the past 36 years, the U.S. News and World Report rankings, which group colleges based on categories created by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, have grown to be the most comprehensive research tool for students and parents considering higher education opportunities.

Written by Ed Osborn