The University of Central Missouri is one of the Midwest's top public schools, as well as one of the top regional schools in the Midwest. This according to U.S. News and World Report's Best Colleges Rankings.

UCM tied with Southeast Missouri State University for the #16 ranking as one of the Midwest's top public universities. The university's ranking as a top regional school wasn't as spectacular as UCM came in tied at #78 with Central Methodist University, Southeast Missouri State University, Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The schools themselves provide a lot of information to U.S. News and World Report for the rankings and there's a dizzying amount of schools listed. There is a best college list, Princeton and Harvard are #1 and #2 respectively. That said, there are rankings for everything. Colleges, online colleges, grad schools, global universities. And then you can slice some of this stuff up into regions. A best of the best? I don't know. I think it's more of a tool.

A marketing tool for the schools. I learned about it from the UCM website. And a tool parents and students can use to try and figure out what colleges and universities are a pretty good match for what the student is into. It's also a money maker for U.S. News and World report as students, or their parents, can get a compass membership that will let the user "gain instant access to additional data points and our personalized school matching tool."

I'm glad back in my day we only had the book you could pick up. The information on all these schools at your fingertips, wow, that seems like it would be overwhelming to my 17 year old self.

That said, If it helps a student find the right place to pursue their education, more power to them. If it leads one more student to check out and consider the University of Central Missouri, it's well worth it. I suspect the university's admissions department agrees.