K-State lands ahead of KU, again. But this time it’s not about basketball.

Bill Self: K-State is Jayhawks’ biggest rival

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self speaks about Saturday's KU-Kansas State rivalry game.
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Kansas basketball coach Bill Self speaks about Saturday's KU-Kansas State rivalry game.

Kansas State University took the Big 12 basketball title away from University of Kansas earlier this month. Now the K-State Wildcats have edged out KU in a new ranking of public universities out this week from Learn.org.

Learn.org, a popular website used by parents and students during college selection, ranked K-State number 2 among the 50 best public universities and colleges in the nation. Indiana University was ranked first.

The website’s selections for best colleges and universities were not necessarily based on academic rigor, but rather, “we used several pieces of publicly available data from the U.S. Department of Education such as graduation rates, tuition prices, and student retention just to name a few,” their website says. “We then balanced all this information with the schools’ extra offerings, like study abroad opportunities, student activities, campus beauty and more,” to create their top 50 list.

Referring to “the impressive array of programs” at K-State, the website cited its 250 undergraduate and 150 graduate degree options. It also highlighted the university’s reputation for graduating students ready to join the workforce. About 96 percent of K-State students are employed or continuing their education within six months of graduation.

“This high ranking by Learn.org is a tribute to our professors, academic advisers and student life staff who work tirelessly to ensure every student we serve has a chance to succeed — and it shows,” said Pat Bosco, vice president for student life and dean of students.

K-State ranked just above KU, which placed third. Learn.org calls KU “one of the preeminent research universities in the country,” and highlights the success of the study abroad program and “its rich selection of 100 international study and research programs.” KU the, the website says, enrolls students from all 50 states and over 113 countries.

Also ranked among the top 50 public schools were Missouri University of Science and Technology at 7 and the University of Missouri ranked at 8.

Last year Money magazine recognized K-State for the third consecutive year as the top university value in Kansas. That same year SmartAsset, a financial services company, rated K-State as the state’s best education value.

Mará has written on all things education for The Star for 20 years, including issues of school safety, teen suicide, universal pre-K programs, college costs, campus protests and university branding.