Public University Honors

Welcome to the somewhat wonkish, entirely independent Public University Honors site! This is the only site on the web that is devoted entirely to the evaluation and discussion of public university honors programs and public honors colleges. Please visit the menu pages or put in a school name or other topic, such as “rankings,” in the Search box above the  and go directly to relevant posts. For short, more frequent posts, please go to Honors News.

Many people start out with the “Top Honors Programs” page, above, or “Rankings, Academic Departments,” or “College Value–Public Honors vs. Private Elites,” or the UPDATED post Rankings, Academic Departments: Private Elites vs Publics. Another helpful page, especially in the summer and fall, is Choosing an Honors Program: 20 Questions to Ask.

Updated: Fall Application Deadlines for 80 Public University Honors Programs

Hurry! December 1 honors application deadlines: Cincinnati, Clemson, Colorado St, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Macaulay (CUNY), Mississippi St, Ohio Univ, Rutgers, Texas A&M, Univ at Buffalo, and Washington.

Poets & Quants Composite MBA Rankings 2015 List 24 Public Programs in Top 50

Iowa Student, with Honors Mentoring, Wins Rhodes, Truman, Boren, and Udall Awards

UGA Honors Student: Honors Mentoring, Research Lead to 2016 Marshall Scholarship

Rhodes Scholars 2016: Mostly Ivy, Plus Iowa, MSU, Ohio St, UVA, Wisconsin, Y oungstown St

Just Updated: Alternative U.S. News Rankings 2016

Purdue Honors Student and Rhodes Finalist: “I have lived the immigrant experience.”

Do Elite Colleges Really Offer Better Courses? Probably Yes, in Some Ways

See the 75 Programs We Are Tracking Now!

We Vote for the U.S. News Global Rankings vs the Times Higher Ed World Rankings

Kentucky to Open New Lewis Honors College with Gift of $23 Million

Estimated Class Sizes: More than 90 National Universities

Ah, the Choices: Private Elite, Liberal Arts, Public Honors–One Family’s Story

New Coalition for Access and Affordability: A Revolution in Admissions?

International Higher Ed Expert: “Un-Excellence Initiatives” Aimed at Public Universities Harm U.S. Standing in the World

Best Colleges for Pell Grant Support and High Grad Rates for Recipients

UT Austin Business Honors Program: A Great Launching Pad

Why Don’t Some Well-Known Honors Programs Appear in our Book?

The National Merit Journey: What You Need to Know, Part One

The National Merit Journey Part Two: The Parent’s Role

The UC Universities and U.S. News

NEW! National Merit Qualifying Scores Class of 2016

Honors Education: An Antidote to the “Neo-liberal,” Vocational Trends in Higher Ed

William and Mary Creates an Inclusive Path to “Highest Honors”

The Issue of “Elitism” in Honors Colleges and Programs

The New Yorker on the Real Value of a College Education

Paysale 2015-2016: Early Career Salaries, by University, Grad and Professional Degrees

Thoughts on NY Times Letters about Honors Colleges

Texas A&M BBA Honors Program: Selective and Rigorous

Here’s a List of Business Honors Programs

Is Class Rank a “Disappearing Metric” for College Admissions?

Texas A&M Is All-in When It Comes to Engineering

Forbes Best College Rankings 2015: Still Unfriendly to Public Universities

New: Honors and Career Success

Here Are the Public Universities That Award the Most Non-need-based Aid

How Much Should Public Universities Spend on Merit Aid?

Is It True that 80% of Elite Students Are Accepted by Elite Colleges?

U.S. News National University Rankings, 2008–Present

Archive of U.S. News Rankings 1983–2007

Accepted to All Ivies and Stanford–Chooses Alabama Honors

The Top Ten Percent Rule in Texas: Highly Questionable Results

Here Are 23 Reasons for College Choice–and a Note on Honors Options

Times Higher Ed World Rankings 2014-2015: Top Engineering and Tech Universities

U.S. News Rankings at Odds with Quality of Academic Departments

Once Again, The New Republic Weighs in on the Ivies, and Here’s our Response

UW-Eau Claire Rhodes Scholar: Personal Attention for Honors Student Made the Difference

Here’s The Business Journals’ Top 100 Public Colleges–and our Analysis

Note to Parents: Changes in Major, Uncertainty about Careers Are Common

Gallup and Purdue Study: Well-Being for Grads Requires More than Income

Based on Academic Reputation Alone, Publics Would Be Higher in U.S. News Rankings

The Academic Reputation Ranking in U.S. News: What It Means for Honors Students

Meet Robert Fisher–Rhodes Scholar 2015, UT Chattanooga

Marshall Scholars 2015: Eleven Public University Winners

Meet Tayo Sanders–Rhodes Scholar 2015, UW-Eau Claire

Rhodes Scholars 2015: Ivies Dominate, but Publics Earn Seven

Honors Programs with Lots of Honors Courses–and Small Classes

Best Value-Added Honors Programs 2014

U.S. News Rankings 2015: Another Down Year for Many Public Universities

Honors College, Honors Program–What’s the Difference?

Don’t Send Your Kid to the Ivy League–from The New Republic

“Don’t Send Your Kid to the Ivy League”–Our Response

New! Best Honors Residence Halls 2014

NEW!  Our second edition is now available in digital and hard-copy versions.  Please go to Yes, We Have a Book if you’re interested.  If not, you have almost 300 posts to choose from on this site–and we appreciate your interest.

Note to readers arriving from the following link to our site in The Atlantic piece titled “The Tyranny of the College Major.” We appreciate the defense of the General Education standards offered by the author of the Atlantic piece, but his suggestion that honors colleges allow students to skip Gen Ed classes by applying AP credits is not accurate.  Some honors colleges and programs allow this to occur, but many, perhaps most, either require honors Gen Ed courses to meet the Gen Ed requirements of the university or require honors students to take electives, usually upper division, in place of the Gen Ed courses.


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