Baldwin City, Kan. — Baker University was the highest-ranked Kansas university in the Midwest Universities Regional category in the 2015 edition of the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges, released on Tuesday.

Baker, listed 44th in the Midwest, was among the universities ranked in the 12-state region in the latest edition. Regional universities were defined as schools that offer a full range of undergraduate majors and master’s programs but few, if any, doctoral programs. The region covers schools from Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

The regional universities are ranked against their peer group in one of four regions — North, South, Midwest and West — because, in general, they tend to draw students most heavily from surrounding states, according to the U.S. News & World Report’s website.

“I have learned quickly of Baker’s reputation as one of the premier private universities in the region,” said new Baker President Lynne Murray. “The latest ranking reveals once again Baker’s longstanding commitment to the students and the university’s mission to provide a well-rounded education. We will continue to offer high-quality programs that will lead to enriching personal and professional lives for our graduates.”

The U.S. News & World Report’s rankings are based on peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, student-to-faculty ratio, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving and graduation rate performance. The magazine collects its data from the universities and several other sources.

Baker’s alumni giving rate of 16 percent was No. 1 among the Kansas universities in the category.

“Our generous alumni remain committed to supporting our academic programs,” Murray said. “They continue to look out for the best interests of our students.”

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