University Hall on the BGSU campus

In Wall Street Journal rankings, BGSU is Ohio’s #1 university for student experience, remains the top public university in the Midwest and beyond that students would choose again

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The new category for best student experience was powered by one of the largest-ever independent surveys of verified college students and recent graduates in the nation

For the fourth year in a row, Bowling Green State University holds the top spot in the Midwest for students who say they made the right choice in their college decision, according to The Wall Street Journal.

This year, the University also climbed to the top spot for the same ranking among public universities in the West, Mid-Atlantic and New England regions in the rankings of the 2024 Best Colleges in the United States.

In addition, BGSU ranks No. 1 in the state of Ohio among all universities - public or private - for student experience, a new category in The Wall Street Journal's rankings that lists the best colleges in the U.S. to have a great experience while attending.

The Wall Street Journal put students’ experiences at the heart of its rankings for 2024 and also places greater emphasis on measuring the value added by colleges — not simply measuring students’ success, but focusing on the contribution the college makes to that success. The commitment that BGSU makes to all aspects of student success — in and out of the classroom — is reflected in the University’s high marks.

The recommendation score, which determines an institution’s rank as to whether students would choose it again for their education, included questions about whether students would recommend the college to a friend, whether students would choose the same college again if they could start over, and satisfaction with the value for money their college provides.

In the student experience methodology, more than 60,000 students and recent graduates were surveyed earlier this year. This ranking is powered by one of the largest-ever independent surveys of verified college students and recent graduates in the U.S. and was developed and executed in collaboration with WSJ research partners College Pulse and Statista. The survey captured a range of perspectives on student life, including students’ perception of learning opportunities, career preparation, dining halls and sports facilities and students’ thoughts on diversity.

Rankings and real-life success

These rankings are reflected in real-time with BGSU welcoming one of its largest and the highest-achieving freshman classes in history with new, first-time student enrollment up 7% at nearly 3,500 students as well as a historically high retention rate of 80% for first-year returning students.

BGSU prioritizes student success and outcomes as a core part of its mission to create public good and that's attracting students to campus.

“That ‘feeling’ students have when they come to our campus is their recognition of the level of support we offer,” said Dr. Glenn Davis, leading the University’s new Division of Student Engagement and Success as vice president. “At its core, we define student success by centering students in everything we do.

“If students feel at home here and understand they are valued members of our community, they are much more likely to navigate problems they encounter successfully than those who don’t. That’s why we are so keenly focused on supporting students at every turn and adapting to their evolving needs.”

Davis said the historically high retention of first-year students returning this fall is another significant indicator of how comprehensive support systems and a student-centric approach can foster success.

Investing in support and success

The support network is a strategically coordinated and collaborative effort extending across all levels of the BGSU learning community, with faculty, staff, academic advisors, counselors, coaches and many others committed to redefining student success, a top priority in the University’s strategic plan, Forward.

The University also has invested significantly in Life Design at BGSU — a groundbreaking program that teaches students crucial problem-solving skills that can contribute to greater success in college and their careers. BGSU is the first university in the country to build a life design program of this magnitude available to all undergraduate students, an initiative that began with resounding support from BGSU President Rodney K. Rogers and engaged alumni whose transformative gifts have allowed the University to expand its initiative and continue changing the higher education paradigm.

Through Life Design, students have learned to move past failure, develop the confidence to pursue unique opportunities and discover new passions after being empowered to design their futures. They've graduated in four years, or fewer, been awarded scholarships and have become leaders in the Life Design student ambassador program.

A robust student engagement department as well as a full complement of Division I athletics and arts, music and cultural experiences help students define their own experience at BGSU, with more than 300 campus organizations and hundreds of activity opportunities each month. Building connections and meaningful relationships at BGSU helps students find a sense of belonging and students are encouraged to take action to get connected, try new things and embrace change to find new interests and a sense of community as Falcons.

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Media Contact | Michael Bratton | | 419-372-6349

Updated: 12/19/2023 12:09PM