Forbes Magazine and the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, a Washington D.C.-based think tank, released its list, which includes 650 public and private, nonprofit schools nationwide, on Aug. 3.
Specifically, UTPA was ranked the third highest within The University of Texas System, the fifth-highest public school in Texas and the 14th out of all 29 Texas institutions of higher learning on the list.
UTPA President Robert S. Nelsen said he was pleased with the recognition the University has received from Forbes and other national magazines.
"The nation is looking at how we do things at UT Pan American, and what these rankings show is that we're doing things right," Nelsen said. "With the Texas State Legislature approving TEXAS Grants for Pan Am, more students will have the opportunity to receive the quality education that the University has to offer."
The magazine had the center compile the data for the rankings, which are based on five general categories: post graduate success, which evaluates alumni pay and prominence; student satisfaction, which includes professor evaluations and freshman to sophomore retention rates; debt, which penalizes schools for high student debt loads and default rates; four-year graduation rate; and competitive awards, which rewards schools whose students win prestigious scholarships and fellowships like the Rhodes, Marshall and Fulbright, according to Forbes.
Out of the 650 schools ranked on the list, UTPA was No. 122 in schools in the South and No. 455 overall.
Other UT System schools ranked overall were: UT Austin (185), UT Dallas (293), UT El Paso (565), UT Arlington (600) and UT San Antonio (632).
This is the third time UTPA has made the "America's Top Colleges" list. In 2009 it ranked No. 32 among the best public colleges and No. 218 out of 600 schools overall. In 2010 it ranked No. 5 in public schools in Texas and No. 436 out of 610 schools overall.
Read the full rankings here.