Jackson State University claims the No. 16 spot among 79 Best HBCUs for 2021, according to the U.S. News & World Report for higher education and education quality. The recent list bumped JSU up from its No. 17 position last year.
Jackson State is the fifth-largest HBCU in the nation. Highly distinguished, the university has been recognized for a multitude of accomplishments on the local and national level. JSU is home to the first legislature-approved School of Public Health. It is also the only Mississippi HBCU with undergraduate and graduate engineering programs. Diverse Issues in Higher Education also noted JSU as one of the country’s leading producers of African-American graduates in science and education. Additionally, JSU is home to the SWAC championship women’s basketball team.
The U.S. News rankings system rests on two pillars: quantitative and qualitative measures that education experts have proposed as reliable indicators of academic quality, and U.S. News’ view of what matters in education.
The indicators used to capture academic quality fall into seven categories: outcome measures, graduate indebtedness, assessment by administrators at peer HBCUs, faculty resources, financial resources, student excellence and alumni giving. The indicators include input measures that reflect a school’s student body, its faculty and its financial resources, along with outcome measures – such as graduation rates, first-year student retention rates, graduate indebtedness and social mobility – that signal how well the institution educates students and whether they eventually graduate.
To qualify for the U.S. News ranking, a school must be listed as part of the U.S. Department of Education’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities registry. An HBCU also must be an undergraduate baccalaureate-granting institution that enrolls primarily first-year, first-time students and must be a school that is part of the 2021 Best Colleges rankings.
For several years, Jackson State has continued to rank as a Top 20 HBCU.