It’s happened again, the university’s gone nuts over Bloomsburg’s improved ratings by U.S. News and World Report’s annual ranking. If you haven’t heard, this year Bloomsburg jumped from number 104 to number 95 of Best Regional Universities in the northern region. We are even ranked fifth among the other schools in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE). Woo hoo.

So why the jump? What have we done together as university to rank in the top 100?

Here is my theory:

We stay here. Sometimes it feels like we’re in the middle of nowhere, especially if you come from the city. However students are staying here rather than transferring. The cost to attend Bloomsburg is relatively cheap, about $8,500 per year for Pennsylvania residents. Even for me, a girl from Jersey, out-of-state tuition is significantly less than many schools in my own state. This financial appeal contributes to Bloomsburg’s 80 percent retention rate, higher than many universities with overall higher scores on the list such as Shippensburg and King’s College, according to U.S. News and World Report.

More students get out on time. While many of you would question this, hear me out. We actually have a higher graduation rate than other universities in the region. At 64 percent, Bloomsburg’s graduation rate exceeds those rates at Shippensburg and Millersville according to this year’s ranking. So while we may hear from our older friends about how they’re never graduating, professors and staff are preparing us to graduate and wish for us graduate on time.

We have something unique. Many of us agree that the education program here at Bloomsburg is well-known and respected. However Bloomsburg offers a challenging special education and deaf education program as well as the only digital forensics degree in the PASSHE system and one of the few digital forensics degrees in the nation.

Bloomsburg’s new ranking is something to be proud of. We’ve all helped in one way or another to our university’s success. It’s definitely a great place to BU!