Joliet, Ill. – For the past sixteen years, the University of St. Francis (USF) has been recognized as a top university by U.S. News & World Report. This year’s recognition, USF’s second year in the publication’s “National Universities” category, marks the seventeenth consecutive year that USF has been honored by U.S. News & World Report.

According to, “Schools in the ‘National Universities’ category offer a full range of undergraduate majors, plus master’s and doctoral programs. These colleges also are committed to producing groundbreaking research.”

Last year, USF shifted to the “National Universities” category as a result of its awarding of at least 20 research/scholarship doctoral degrees during the most recent update year. An increase in the number of Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degrees awarded by USF, which are classified as research/scholarship doctoral degrees, played a large role in the reclassification.

USF was ranked #227 in the “National Universities” category of this year’s publication. In Illinois, USF was ranked ninth among the seventeen Illinois schools included in the report, sixth among private schools in the State, and was ranked as the State’s second best Catholic school.

“We are pleased that outside organizations continue to recognize the quality of a University of St. Francis education, especially as we celebrate our centennial this year,” said USF President Arvid C. Johnson, Ph.D.  “While being recognized for our quality in these rankings helps to validate the efforts of our faculty and provides us with many points of pride, the most important indicators of our success as educators are that our students have a great learning experience, graduate, are considered top prospects by employers, and find jobs that launch their careers.”

For the second consecutive year, U.S. News also ranked USF in its “Top Performers on Social Mobility” list. The list, according to, states that, “Economically disadvantaged students are less likely than others to finish college, even when controlling for other characteristics. Some colleges are more successful than others at advancing social mobility by enrolling and graduating large proportions of disadvantaged students awarded with Pell Grants. The vast majority of these federal grants are awarded to students whose adjusted gross family incomes are under $50,000.”

“Being recognized for Social Mobility is one of those measures every staff and faculty member at USF can be proud of,” said USF Vice President for Admissions and Marketing, Eric Wignall. “It continues to demonstrate our commitment to serve people from every background and income level. It shows just how solid our educational programs are that our graduates truly make more and do more to improve their lives.”

Visit for more information on the U.S. News 2021 Best Colleges rankings.

: :

Currently celebrating 100 years of higher education rooted in Franciscan values, the University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves close to 4,000 students nationwide and offers undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 51,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit

University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.

# # #