Malone moved up in rank from #61 to #58 of a total 146 colleges and universities in the Midwest region. Top colleges are those that rank from 1 – 114, followed by a second tier of institutions 115-146. Malone's ranking represents a 4-way tie for the position shared with Columbia College, North Park University, and Olivet Nazarene University .
The promotion appears to reflect an increase in this year's student ACT score range (from 19-26 to 20-26), graduation rate (from 57% to 58%), peer assessment (from 2.3 to 2.4), and overall score (from 44 to 45) for the University.
Institutions included in the category Regional Universities are those that provide a full range of undergraduate and master's degree programs. The 626 total institutions in this category are ranked within four geographic areas—North, South, Midwest, and West—because, in general, they tend to draw students heavily from surrounding states.
U.S. News ranks colleges and universities according to an overall score based on the following criteria: peer assessment; average freshman retention rate; average graduation rate; percentage of classes under 20; percentage of classes of 50 or more; student/faculty ratio; percentage of faculty who are full time; SAT/ACT 25th – 75th percentile; freshmen in top 25% of their high school graduating classes; new student acceptance rate; and alumni giving.
According to Will Friesen, Ph.D., interim president of Malone University, "While we should not consider these annual rankings to be the end-all/be-all, they do serve as a somewhat reliable benchmark for quality and a helpful reminder of our commitment to providing an exceptional educational experience for Malone University students."