UNCW ranked among the top 100 Public National Universities for 2021


Lauren Wessell

The Seahawk statue displayed at the front of UNCW’s campus.

Veronica Wernicke, News Editor

The 2021 U.S. News & World Report for Top 100 Public Schools ranked UNC Wilmington (UNCW) 95 out of 100. UNCW was also ranked as 187 of 389 for Best National University.

This is the second year UNCW has made the cut and it is also one of three UNC System universities ranked — UNC-Chapel Hill (ranked fifth) and N.C. State University (ranked 32) also made the list. 

UNCW tied for 95 alongside Florida International University, Oklahoma State University, Rowan University and the University of New Mexico. UNCW also tied for 187 alongside eight other universities. 

“This ranking, which is based on the 2019-20 academic year, is a testament to UNCW’s commitment to excellence as well its resilience, even when faced with an upheaval like the coronavirus pandemic,” said Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli. “UNCW students, faculty and staff consistently rise to the challenge and embrace the can-do Seahawk spirit to accomplish great things.” 

Rankings are based on the previous school year and U.S. News & World noted the coronavirus (COVID-19) did not affect this year’s results.  

According to U.S. News and World, rankings are determined through the evaluation of several factors; graduation and retention rates, social mobility, graduation rate performance, undergraduate academic reputation, faculty resources for 2019-2020 academic year, student selectivity for the fall 2019 entering class, financial resources per student, average alumni giving rate and graduate indebtedness. Some factors have subcategories that affect the factors.  

Reports like Top 100 Public National Universities and others from U.S. News & World are created in order to help prospective college students and their parents better think about the universities they want to attend.

In 2018, UNCW also received recognition and moved up to the category “Doctoral Universities: High Research Activity” in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. This recognition has allowed UNCW to make the Top 100 Public National Universities list for two years now. 

“UNCW’s efforts to advance research and innovation have created a campus culture rooted in inquiry, curiosity and imagination,” a press released from the university stated. “UNCW faculty conduct stellar research programs, collaborating with students to explore various fields including drug development; aquaculture; coastal and marine environments; the arts and humanities; educational leadership; health and wellness; and data sciences. With a recent $400 million investment in capital improvements, UNCW’s community of scholars continues to expand its programs and services to address issues of local, regional and global significance.”