U.S. News & World Report published its annual Best Colleges rankings this week, and there wasn't much movement in the ranking of Mountain West schools. The only movement up or down was New Mexico leaping Fresno State for fifth place among national universities. UNLV also jumped from a Tier II school up to Tier I. The average rank of the MW's Tier I schools was up year over year, ranking 196.7 on average, better than last year's 202.9 (the lower the score the better, with Princeton taking the top spot at No. 1; take that Harvard).
Nevada improved from 240th last year to 227th this year. San Diego State held the top position for the second straight season. Wyoming had the largest year-over-year increase, improving 32 spots. Hawaii had the biggest fall, dropping four spots. Here is a where each of the 12 Mountain West schools were slotted in the U.S. News World Report's 2021 rankings.
Ranked as a national university
No. 143: San Diego State (140 last year and 127 the year prior)
No. 153: Colorado State (166 last year and 140 the year prior)
No. 170: Hawaii (166 last year and 157 the year prior)
No. 187: New Mexico (218 last year and 187 the year prior)
No. 196: Fresno State (211 last year and 205 the year prior)
No. 196: Wyoming (228 last year and 183 the year before)
No. 227: Nevada (240 last year and 201 the year prior)
No. 241: Utah State (254 last year and 205 the year prior)
No. 258: UNLV (a Tier II school last year and year prior)
Ranked, but ranking not published
(These schools are Tier II nationally, between the above group and the below group)
* Boise State
Ranked as regional school (West)
No. 22: San Jose State (23 last year and 33rd the year prior)
Ranked as national liberal arts school
No. 28: Air Force (39 last year and 30 the year prior)
In short, San Diego State is ranked the best academic school in the MW (Air Force would be first, although it fits in a different category), San Jose State is ranked the worst and Nevada is lower than middle of the pack, placing eighth out of the 12 schools. In the last five rankings, Nevada has been placed No. 187 nationally in 2016, No. 197 in 2017 and No. 202 in 2018, No. 201 in 2019, No. 240 in 2020 and No. 227 in 2021. Nevada was rated at 113th among public schools in 2020, up from 117th last year.