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Ravell Call, Deseret News
Within the National Universities category BYU ranked 62nd.

PROVO — BYU and the University of Utah enjoyed modest gains, while Utah State University experienced a significant slip in the 2014 rankings of the best colleges in America released Tuesday U.S. News & World Report.

Within the National Universities category BYU ranked 62nd and Utah checked in at 121st — up six and four spots, respectively, from last year. Conversely, Utah State slid 16 places to 190th.

Since the 2011 rankings were released three years ago BYU has risen 13 spots on the National Universities list — giving the Cougars the 15th-biggest gain over that span, according to a Washington Post analysis. The Post also determined Utah State suffered the fourth-largest drop for a National Universities institution by falling 20 spots during that time.

In the new rankings for Regional Universities in the West, Westminster College remained entrenched at No. 22 — the identical result as last year. Within that same category Southern Utah University and Weber State University appeared on the 2014 rankings at 71st and 80th, respectively, after being tied with each other for 72nd a year ago.

BYU-Idaho ranked 13th and BYU-Hawaii 18th among Regional Colleges in the West, a classification in which Utah Valley University and Dixie State University failed to register a ranking.

The annual U.S. News & World Report list ranks colleges based on selectivity, retention and graduation rates. Princeton University edged Harvard University and Yale University for the honorific of being the best college in the United States, while the University of California-Berkeley ranked as the top public school.

“U.S. News tweaked its formula this year, giving more emphasis to college graduation rates and less to the high school class standing of incoming students,” the Washington Post’s Nick Anderson reported Monday. “The magazine’s methodology also factors in surveys of academic reputation and data on retention rates, college entrance test scores, financial resources and faculty resources, among other things.”

Email: jaskar@desnews.com