The Wall Street Journal's 2024 Best Colleges in the U.S. list ranked John Brown University as the No. 1 school in Arkansas. This is the third time in the last four WSJ rankings that JBU has topped the list.
This year, WSJ and research partners College Pulse and Statista shifted the methodology to emphasize student outcomes like graduation rates, graduate salaries and the net price of attendance to help determine the value of a school's education.
"We value the Wall Street Journal rankings above others because it focuses on how a university changes a student's life and future by keeping costs low and graduation rates and graduates' salaries high," said JBU president Chip Pollard. "It recognizes, in other words, the economic value of JBU's rigorous Christ-entered education. JBU also measures our results by how students grow emotionally, relationally and spiritually while at JBU, results that are harder to capture in a ranking but are as, if not more important, to a student's education."
The rankings were based on three factors: student outcomes (70% of the score), the learning environment (20%) and diversity (10%). To analyze the learning environment, College Pulse surveyed students and recent alumni to ask about the quality of learning opportunities, career preparation, satisfaction with facilities and overall recommendation score. The diversity score combined metrics on racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds and disability status of students and faculty along with student experiences garnered from the survey.
Overall, JBU ranked 188 out of the 400 schools in the U.S. that appeared on the list. Two other Arkansas schools were listed: the University of Arkansas (No. 295) and Harding University (No. 380).
JBU was ranked highest of the schools in Arkansas in 2020 and 2022 and ranked second in 2021. The Wall Street Journal did not create a Best Colleges list in 2023.
John Brown University is a leading private Christian university, training students to honor God and serve others since 1919. Arkansas' top-ranked university (The Wall Street Journal) and top-ranked regional university (U.S. News), JBU enrolls more than 2,200 students from 37 states and 42 countries in its traditional undergraduate, graduate, online and concurrent education programs. JBU offers over 50 undergraduate majors, with top programs including nursing, psychology, business, computer science, construction management, graphic design, family and human services, and engineering. Eighteen graduate degrees are available in business, counseling, cybersecurity, and education.