Howard Payne University again received competitive rankings in the 2014 edition of “Best Colleges” released this week by U.S. News & World Report. HPU placed 14 out of the institutions in the “Best Regional Colleges of the West” category. Additionally, the university maintained its 2013 eighth-place ranking in the “Best Value Schools” category for regional colleges of the West.

The publication ranked nearly 1,800 higher-education institutions from across the country based on 16 indicators of academic quality including student-faculty ratio, graduation and retention rankings, peer assessment scores and available financial resources. “Best Value Schools,” described by U.S. News as “great schools at great prices,” are determined by comparing the institution’s academic quality to the cost of attendance.

Institutions are ranked within four geographic regions: North, South, Midwest and West. Universities and colleges in Texas and Oklahoma compete in the West region, which is the largest geographic section, encompassing the entire Western U.S.

According to the publication, the ranking methodology was significantly updated this year to place more emphasis on student outcomes.

“U.S. News strives to provide students and their families with the most comprehensive data available,” said Bob Morse, director of data research, in a press release issued by the publication. “Measuring outcomes is critical to understanding how well a school retains and educates its students.”

Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president, encourages people to visit the university to determine its value on their own.

“We’re very pleased with our U.S. News rankings,” he said. “What truly makes this a remarkable university, however, are the things that can’t be ranked on a numeric scale. I encourage prospective students and their families to come to campus, meet our faculty and staff, witness our student life and find out what it’s like to be part of the HPU family.”

To schedule a campus visit, call (325) 649-8020 or go to More information about HPU’s “2014 Best Colleges” ranking can be found online at