Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
FILE - Grads walk around the concourse during Brigham Young University during summer commencement in Provo on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018.

PROVO — Chances are, someone at Brigham Young University's Marriott School of Business stopped for doughnuts on the way to the university this morning to celebrate U.S. News and World Report's 2019 Best Colleges rankings.

Not only did BYU's accounting program rank second in country behind the University of Texas-Austin, which was an improvement of one place over last year's rankings, its business school ranked 35th nationally, according to the rankings released Monday shortly after midnight EDT.

The report includes data on more than 1,800 colleges and universities nationwide. Best Colleges rankings evaluate schools on hundreds of data points using up to 16 measures of academic quality, a U.S. News press release states.

College is one of the most expensive investments of a lifetime, noted Brian Kelly, editor and chief content officer of U.S. News.

"Best Colleges provides the in-depth information students need to begin their search, with rankings, articles, user reviews, salary information and more,” he said in a statement.

"We have driven transparency in higher education for more than 30 years so that students have access to robust data and information to make well-informed choices."

Among national universities, BYU tied for 66th overall, the highest among all universities in the Beehive State. Meanwhile, BYU-Hawaii and BYU-Idaho tied for 17th among regional colleges.

Two other private colleges in Utah had top 10 rankings in other categories. The nonprofit Western Governors University tied for 10th most-innovative university in the West region.

Westminster College ranked 20th among West regional universities, slightly down from last year. It was seventh for "best value schools" among regional universities in the West. It also was ranked 12th among regional colleges in the West for veterans.

Best value school rankings consider a school's academic quality with the net cost of attendance for a student who received the average level of need-based financial aid.

The University of Utah tied for 119th among national universities, and Utah State University 205th, also a tie. The top-ranked universities nationally were Princeton and Harvard, with Columbia University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Chicago and Yale University tied for third.

Colleges and universities are ranked by multiple measures, among them graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, class size, alumni giving, peer assessments and average spending per student on areas like instruction and student services, among others.

The methodology placed the heaviest weight on student outcomes. This year's rankings include a new outcome indicator that looked at social mobility, or a school's success at graduating students who received federal Pell Grants. Typically, they are students whose household incomes are less than $50,000 annually.

Among public national universities, the U. ranked 56th, tied with Iowa State University. Meanwhile, USU tied for 112th.

Southern Utah University was ranked 81st among West regional universities whileUtah Valley University and Weber State University were on an alphabetized list of universities that were ranked between 96th to 127th, but no specific rankings were attached to the institutions.

Dixie State University ranked 26th among regional colleges in the West, the highest place among all state colleges in any category.

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Among business schools, the U.'s David Eccles School of Business was ranked 44th, while the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at USU was ranked 147th. Weber State's Goddard School of Business and Economics was ranked 312nd, while SUU's business school came in at 405th.

The U.'s College of Engineering was ranked 59th, BYU's 87th and USU's 116th.

Snow College was recognized among regional colleges in the West that have the highest percentages of international students among its student body. At Snow, 3 percent of its students are from outside the United States, according to the report.