Nicholls State in Thibodaux rose in the rankings as one of the South's top university in the U.S. News & World Report's annual report for 2020.
This year, Nicholls ranks No. 38 among the top public regional universities in the South, three spots higher than the 2019 rankings. It ranks No. 84 when Southern regional private schools were included, moving up 14 spots.
In Louisiana, Nicholls ranked highest of all regional public universities, with McNeese State in Lake Charles the only other state school landing on the list.
"This is a direct reflection of the commitment our faculty and staff make every day to recruit, educate and graduate a better student for the bayou region," Nicholls President Jay Clune said in a news release this week.
The ranking is based on a graduation rates, retention rates, academic reputation, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving rate.
Nicholls ranked 103rd on U.S. News & World Report's new list calling attention to schools that are "Top Performers on Social Mobility." That is determined by the number of students attending the school who receive federal Pell Grants and their six-year graduation.
Nicholls' six-year graduation rate among Pell Grant recipients was 32 percent last year. Among Nicholls students who did not receive a Pell Grant, the rate was 54 percent.
For that category, Nicholls ranked sixth among Louisiana universities, behind Xavier, Grambling, Northwestern, Southern and Louisiana College.
Nicholls Marketing and Communications Director Jerad David said the national recognition is reflected in the school's growth in enrollment over the past few years.
"It's a pride point to say we are the top public regional university in the state," he said. "For them to say we're the best in our class in Louisiana, that really speaks to the hard work that everyone is putting in to make sure that their students succeed."
-- Staff Writer Halle Parker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 857-2204. Follow her on Twitter, @_thehalparker.