MTSU closes year ranked nationally for overall qua...

MTSU closes year ranked nationally for overall quality, social mobility, more

Middle Tennessee State University will ring in the new year with 2024 rankings from several national organizations for institutional excellence.

The Princeton Review — one of the nation’s leading education services companies — included MTSU in its 32nd annual Best Colleges rankings for 2024, the fifth consecutive year that the institution has been recognized. The college list is solely based on its surveys of college students about their schools.

“Unlike college rankings that focus exclusively on academics and that are derived solely from institutional data and college administrator peer reviews, The Princeton Review rankings, tallied in multiple categories, are derived from student reports of their experiences at the schools in its annual Best Colleges guidebook,” the company said.

The Princeton Review’s data operations team tallied 165,000 surveys of students at the schools listed among The Best 389 Colleges (about 424 surveys per school on average). The 85-question survey asked students to rate their professors, administrators, financial aid, campus amenities, school services and other aspects of life at their colleges on a five-point scale and to report on their experiences at them.

“We created our rankings to provide a resource for college applicants that helps them answer what may well be the toughest question in their college search — ‘What’s the best school for me?’” said  Rob Franek, editor-in-chief of The Princeton Review and lead author of The Best 389 Colleges.

“Our selection of colleges for this book reflects our high opinion of the schools: we recommend each one as academically outstanding. Our ranking lists reflect the opinions of the school’s students — their customers — and their reports to us about their campus experiences.”

Other rankings

Meanwhile, U.S. News and World Report ranked MTSU at No. 84 in the nation for Social Mobility for 2024. It is the second consecutive year that MTSU, a top choice for first-generation college students, was recognized by the magazine in this category.

“Economically disadvantaged students are less likely than others to finish college, even when controlling for their achievement in high school,” the magazine said. “But some colleges are more successful than others at advancing social mobility by enrolling and graduating large proportions of disadvantaged students awarded with Pell Grants.

“The vast majority of these federal grants are awarded to students whose adjusted gross family incomes are under $50,000.”

MTSU was among the schools that U.S. News said performed best on a variety of social mobility ranking factors, which in addition to the two Pell Grant factors, also include borrower debt and college graduates earning more than high school graduates.

The university also was included on the magazine’s lists for Top Public Schools; National Universities; Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs (at schools where doctorate not offered); Computer Science; Nursing; and Psychology.

Also, Newsweek ranked MTSU No. 134 among 200 institutions singled out among America’s Top Online Colleges.

The list was curated from a survey of over 9,000 online learners, the magazine said, as well as its research about the institutions.

And MTSU was included on the 2023-24 edition of the annual Colleges of Distinction list. In addition to overall recognition, the university was listed among the organization’s lists for best nursing colleges; best business colleges; best affordable colleges; best military support colleges; best education colleges; and best career development colleges.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee noted the recent rankings in his address to graduates at the institution’s Fall 2023 commencement ceremony on Dec. 16.

“While these accolades continue to raise MTSU’s profile across the nation and around the world, what truly matters is our commitment to the individual success of each and every student in our True Blue family,” he said.

Dr. Sidney A. McPhee, MTSU president
Dr. Sidney A. McPhee

Founded in 1911 as one of three state normal schools for teacher training, Middle Tennessee State University is one of the oldest and largest undergraduate universities in the state of Tennessee.

With a fall enrollment averaging more than 20,000 students for the past several years, MTSU remains committed to providing individualized service in an exciting and nurturing atmosphere where student success is the top priority. For more information, call 615-898-2300, visit or

— Andrew Oppmann (