U.S. News & World Report recognizes Fairmont State in 2021 rankings

Thursday, October 01, 2020

For the first time in recent history, U.S. News & World Report has recognized Fairmont State University in their 2021 rankings, including as a Top 100 Performer on Social Mobility and a Top 50 Public School in the Regional University South category. 

“I am thrilled that Fairmont State has earned these distinctions from U.S. News and World Reports, but I’m not surprised,” Mirta M. Martin, president of Fairmont State University, said. “I see our school’s excellence in action every day. But I’m excited that now more and more people will be made aware of the extraordinary impact that our unique, transformative education has on students and communities.”

This is the 36th year that U.S. News and World Report has been doing a Best Colleges Rankings which is aimed at highlighting institutions students may want to examine more closely when choosing where to go to college. 

To allow for valid comparisons, the U.S. News and World Report places colleges and universities into 10 distinct ranking groups across four geographical areas: North, South, Midwest and West.  Fairmont State is included in the Regional Universities South category. Regional Universities offer a broad scope of undergraduate degrees in addition to some master's degree programs. 

U.S. News' college profile pages benchmark each school's relative performance across different ranking indicators and include many of the latest statistics used in the calculations – such as the student-faculty ratio and the average federal loan debt of graduates. They also list information schools provide directly to U.S. News on their application requirements, tuition and financial aid policies, and campus activities. 

For the second consecutive year, U.S. News published a distinct social mobility ranking for all schools. The social mobility ranking is computed from two ranking factors assessing graduation rates of Pell-awarded students (5% of the overall rankings total). Social mobility measures how well schools graduated students who received federal Pell Grants (those typically coming from households whose family incomes are less than $50,000 annually, though most Pell Grant money goes to students with a total family income below $20,000). 

“I think I’m most humbled by Fairmont State being named a Top Performer on Social Mobility,” Martin said, “because it confirms our commitment to our mission to provide a quality education to all who seek it. We serve a unique student population – over 61 percent of our student population are first generation students. Nearly half of first-time full-time undergraduates are Pell Grant recipients. This recognition affirms that Fairmont State University changes lives. I couldn’t be prouder.”

For more information on the 2021 U.S. News & World Report rankings, visit: