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. In all, there are more than 400 posts and pages on this site.  For short, more frequent posts, please go to Honors News. (Photo of French House, Ogden Honors College, Louisiana State University, courtesy LSU.)

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: Twenty Questions to Ask.

This Site Claims That Elite Colleges Are “Desperate” for History Majors, a New “Preferred” Group? (Click on video at site.) For another view please check out this piece:

“Can Applying Under a Certain Major Affect Your Chances of Admissions?”


Here is the best source of admission stats you can find for Fall 2016, at Higher Ed Data Stories

Below are some recent or widely-read posts out of the 400-plus on the site:

Top 25 Universities for Silicon Valley Hires: 17 Are Public

Former Schreyer Dean Christian Brady Is First Dean of UKY’s Lewis Honors College

Money Best Values 2017: CUNY Baruch, Michigan, UC’s, UVA Lead Publics

Honors Plus  Strong Merit Aid: ASU Barrett Honors College

Goldwater Scholars 2017: Alabama, Iowa State Lead Publics but Regional Publics Do Well

Honors Plus Merit Aid: Alabama Honors College

UPDATE: Support for National Merit Scholars Shifting to South and West

Does Participation in an Honors Programs Lower GPAs?

NEW! First in a series on Honors Plus Merit Aid: Ohio State Honors

Wyoming, Northern Arizona U to Greatly Expand Honors Colleges

Southeast, West Coast: Top Public Values in Kiplinger 2017 Report

Stamps Scholarships Are Only for Certain Colleges, and They Are Not Need-Based

UC Berkeley, UT Austin Lead Publics in 2017 NSF Graduate Research Grants

U.S. News Publication: Honors Programs Are Good for “Families Too Rich for Financial Aid”

‘Reformers’ Cite Productivity as the Reason for Higher Ed Cuts: Here’s What They Don’t Understand

NEW! Top Honors Programs, Honors Components Only

Growth in Honors Colleges Aided by Large Donations

Rhodes Scholars 2017: Ivies Down a Bit, UVA Has Two

How Many of Those Honors Classes Are Restricted to Honors Students Only?

New U.S. College Rankings: Wall St Journal Partners with Times Highered

Mizzou Honors College Offers Priority Registration, Receives Large Gift for Undergrad Research

Top Honors Programs–Updated September 13, 2016!

NEW: Average U.S. News Rankings for 126 Universities: 2010: 2017

Best Universities for National Merit Scholar Funding, Updated!

Update No. 2: It’s Complicated–the 2016 Edition of Honors Ratings and Reviews

Inside Honors: Class Sizes, Classes by Discipline, Sections Per Student

Inside Honors: What 9,000 Class Sections Can Tell You

Best Major Universities for National Merit Scholarship Funding–Part Two

Gates Cambridge Scholars 2016: 13 Are from Public Universities

Florida, Maryland, Washington Will Soon Use Only the New Coalition App

Never Mistake an Elite [Honors] Education for Elitism

Most UT Austin Forty Acres Scholars Major in Plan II or Business Honors

Virginia Tech Will Move from Honors Program to New Honors College

UT System Chancellor Opposes Top 10 Percent Admission Rule

New: Estimated PSAT Qualifying Scores 2017

Honors Colleges, Honors Programs: Differences Revisited

Updated: Fall Application Deadlines for 80 Public University Honors Programs

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

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

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

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?

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

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

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

Honors Programs with Lots of Honors Courses–and Small Classes

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!  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.


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