Updated Sept. 15, 2020 at 10:32 a.m. to include video.

Elon University ranks No. 88 among national universities and No. 55 among private universities on the U.S. News and World Report 2021 list of best national universities. This ranking is down four spots both overall and for private universities from the 2020 list, when Elon ranked No. 84 and No. 51 一 Elon’s first year of eligibility for the list.

According to the U.S. News and World Report website, these universities are ranked on “17 different measures of academic quality.” Some of these factors include graduation and retention rates, undergraduate academic reputation and faculty resources for the past year. The information they get to measure these qualities include feedback from surveys, talks with the schools, trends in their data, opinions of higher education experts and more.

For 2021, 389 schools appeared on the national universities list. Elon tied with eight other schools for No. 88 including Marquette University, the University of Iowa and the University of San Diego.  

On top of the No. 88 ranking, for the second year in a row Elon was ranked No. 2 in excellence in undergraduate teaching. This year, a No. 10 ranking for most innovative national university was also added. In a press release, President Connie Book said she is especially proud of the No. 2 national ranking for teaching excellence

“This is a defining characteristic of our university and that has been especially apparent this year,” Book said. “Elon’s highly skilled faculty, with the support of staff across the university, have created innovative and effective approaches to teaching and learning during the pandemic."

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Elon University has decided to hold in-person learning this fall, but some teachers have opted for hybrid models or online courses. 

Elon ranked in the top 20 nationally in all eight “Focus on Student Success”  categories, based on the survey conducted by the U.S. News & World Report. Elon ranked No. 1 in Learning Communities and Study Abroad. 

The lowest ranking Elon received was in the social mobility category where it was ranked number No. 371. Only 18 schools were ranked lower. According to the  U.S. News and World Report the social mobility category “measures how well schools graduated students who received federal pell grants.”