The University moved up in its overall ranking among “America’s Best Colleges” and improved in several criteria used to determine the annual U.S. News & World Report rankings. The magazine released its annual report in August.

Illinois State moved to 156 in the “Best National Universities” category, up from 162 in last year’s ranking. The “Best National Universities” category includes 262 American universities that offer a wide range of undergraduate degrees, as well as master’s and doctoral degrees. Of the 262 universities, 75 percent are ranked in the publication.

Illinois State’s improvements came in the subcategories of acceptance rate, average freshman retention rate, percent of classes of 50 or more, and percent of faculty who are full-time. Rankings are based on academic quality and excellence.

Factors include an undergraduate academic reputation index that is guided by information from high school counselors, as well as college and university presidents, provosts, and deans. Other factors include student retention, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving, and graduation rate performance.