NEW! Historical US News rankings–plus how much does academic reputation matter for national universities. See most recent posts below.
For readers interested in PSAT scores by state for the NMS class of 2023, please see the data at Compass Prep.
Welcome to the somewhat wonkish, entirely independent Public University Honors site! The site was launched in October 2011. 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, and go directly to relevant posts. In all, there are more than 400 posts and pages on this site.
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. You can go back and forth between these departmental rankings and the specialty rankings for business and engineering as well (below). Another helpful page, especially in the summer and fall, is Choosing an Honors Program: Twenty Questions to Ask.
Below are some recent or widely-read posts out of the 400-plus on the site:
New: US News Academic Reputation Scores vs Rankings for 99 National Universities, 2015-2023. How much does academic reputation matter? You might be surprised.
New: Average and Year by Year US News Rankings for 125 National Universities, 2016-2023
Updated: Average and Year by Year US News Rankings 123 National Universities, 2015-2022
News! UGA Honors Program to Become Morehead Honors College with Large Endowment
Honors Merit Scholarships–A Quick Review
HERE IS A NEW PODCAST ON HONORS COLLEGES AND PROGRAMS (start at 5:07 mark), ANSWERING MOST QUESTIONS ABOUT HONORS
Top Honors Colleges and Programs 2020–and for Last Five Years!
The 2020-2021 edition of INSIDE HONORS is now available
U.S. News National University Rankings, 2008–2015
U.S. News Rankings for 57 Leading Universities, 1983–2007
PSAT National Merit Qualifying Scores Class of 2021 (lower than 2020)
Honors Completion Rates: Leading Honors Colleges and Programs
Maintaining “the Honors Difference” During the Pandemic: Virginia Tech Honors College
Some New Honors College Rankings Have Appeared; Here’s our Take
Here Are 75 National Universities Listed in Order of Average Departmental Ranking
Here Are the Honors Colleges and Programs to Be Featured in the 2020 Edition of Inside Honors
International Rankings, Engineering and Tech: Top 70 U.S. Universities
Best Major Universities for National Merit Scholarship Funding–Part Two Updated!!!
U.S. News 2020: Dept Rankings vs Academic Rep vs Overall Rankings–Plus Social Mobility
Updated: Final National Merit Semifinalist Cutoff Scores, Class of 2020
Application Deadlines for 100 Honors Programs–Updated for Fall 2020
What Are the Differences Between an Honors and a Non-Honors Undergraduate Education?
Are Apartment-Style Residences Really Better than Traditional Corridor Dorms?
University of South Florida Genshaft Honors College Receives a Total of $23 Million from Outgoing USF President
The New College Board ‘Adversity Score’ Explained
Goldwater Scholarships Are a Big Deal–and a Bigger Deal Going Forward!
Choosing an Honors Program: 20 Questions to Ask
Here’s Why We Don’t Use Test Scores in Rating Honors Programs
Are Public Honors Programs Shifting too Much Toward ‘Experiential Learning’?
Talk About Rigorous: New UT Austin Honors Program in Computer Science AND Business
Fall Application Deadlines for 80 Public University Honors Colleges and Programs
The Academic Reputation of 155 National Universities (and What That Means for Honors)
Updated: National Merit Qualifying Selection Scores, Class of 2019
Understanding the FOUR Types of Honors Classes
Honors Completion Rates: ‘A Dirty Little Secret’ or a (Very) Complicated Issue?
Honors Completion Rates: A Statistical Summary
Here is a Formula for Evaluating Honors Completion Rates
UT Austin Announces Significant Increase in Financial Aid
Florida Atlantic University Wilkes Honors College is Full-on Honors
The Ten Qualities of a ‘Liberally’ Educated Person
Changes in Dept Rankings, 2014–2018
Will Florida Become the New Mecca for National Merit Scholars?
University of South Florida (USF) Honors College: Brand New Housing, Excellent Merit Awards
Updated: Academic Dept Rankings, PLUS Reputation Rankings, PLUS U.S. News Overall Rankings, all in One Post
Will Honors Colleges Become the Last, Best Hope for Humanities and ‘Civic Education’?
Best Undergrad Business Programs, by Specialty, Public and Private
Best Undergrad Engineering Programs, by Specialty, Public and Private
Kiplinger Best College Value Publics 2018
The SAT “Confirming” Test for National Merit Semifinalists: What Is It?
PSAT Scores and National Merit Eligibility
Rhodes Scholars 2010: More Breadth, Less Ivy Dominance
Should Honors Colleges Charge Extra? If So, How Much?
The National Merit Journey: What You Need to Know, Part One
The National Merit Journey Part Two: The Parent’s Role
PSAT Qualifying Scores for Class of 2018, by State, Compared to 2017 Scores
UPDATE: Support for National Merit Scholars Shifting to South and West
Best Universities for National Merit Scholar Funding, Updated!
Here Are the Public Universities That Award the Most Non-need-based Aid
How Much Should Public Universities Spend on Merit Aid?
Honors Plus Merit Aid: Alabama Honors College
Honors Plus S trong Merit Aid: ASU Barrett Honors College
Honors Plus Merit Aid: Ohio State Honors
Stamps Scholarships Are Only for Certain Colleges, and They Are Not Need-Based
The Curious Case of U.S. News and the High School Counselor Metric
U.S. News Rankings, Minus the Financial Padding Metrics
This is the Best Analysis of U.S. News Rankings Ever Written (with a political slant, but the analysis of ranking factors is excellent).
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
U.S. News Rankings at Odds with Quality of Academic Departments
New U.S. College Rankings: Wall St Journal Partners with Times Highered
U.S. News Publication: Honors Programs Are Good for “Families Too Rich for Financial Aid”
Georgetown Prof on Finding Best Teaching, Mentoring: Consider an Honors College (with a nod to INSIDE HONORS)
Top Honors Programs
Top Honors Programs, Honors Components Only
Ah, the Choices: Private Elite, Liberal Arts, Public Honors–One Family’s Story
Inside Honors: Class Sizes, Classes by Discipline, Sections Per Student
How Many of Those Honors Classes Are Restricted to H onors Students Only?
Does Participation in an Honors Programs Lower GPAs?
Here’s a List of Business Honors Programs
Honors Colleges, Honors Programs: Differences Revisited
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
Estimated Class Sizes for More than 90 National Universities
Q and A with Inaugural Dean of Lewis Honors College at U of Kentucky
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.
T op 25 Universities for Silicon Valley Hires: 17 Are Public
Money Best Values 2017: CUNY Baruch, Michigan, UC’s, UVA Lead Publics
Goldwater Scholars 2017: Alabama, Iowa State Lead Publics but Regional Publics Do Well
UC Berkeley, UT Austin Lead Publics in 2017 NSF Graduate Research Grants
Is It True that 80% of Elite Students Are Accepted by Elite Colleges?
Here’s The Business Journals’ Top 100 Public Colleges–and our Analysis
‘Reformers’ Cite Productivity as the Reason for Higher Ed Cuts: Here’s What They Don’t Understand
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
m Honors Program to New Honors College Virginia Tech Will Move fro
UT System Chancellor Opposes Top 10 Percent Admission Rule
Iowa Student, with Honors Mentoring, Wins Rhodes, Truman, Boren, and Udall Awards
UGA Honors Student: Honors Mentoring, Research Lead to 2016 Marshall Scholarship
Do Elite Colleges Really Offer Better Courses? Probably Yes, in Some Ways
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
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
Thoughts on NY Times Letters about Honors Colleges
Texas A&M BBA Honors Program: Selective and Rigorous
Is Class Rank a “Disappearing Metric” for College Admissions?
Honors and Career Success
The Top Ten Percent Rule in Texas: Highly Questionable Results
Here Are 23 Reasons for College Choice–and a Note on Honors Options
Once Again, The New Republic Weighs in on the Ivies, and Here’s our Response
Note to Parents: Changes in Major, Uncertainty about Careers Are Common
Gal lup and Purdue Study: Well-Being for Grads Requires More than Income
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
All Rights Reserved. ©
Rhodes Scholars 2016: Mostly Ivy, Plus Iowa, MSU, Ohio St, UVA, Wisconsin, Y oungstown St _