Kent State University fell several spots this year in U.S. News & World Report’s annual ranking of the best colleges in the country.

Kent State tied with six other schools — none in Ohio — for 211th on the list of the "Best National Universities." It was 191st last year. And the year prior, it was 176th. Such year-to-year movement is not uncommon.

While the university's ranking fell, its overall score improved by 9 percent compared to last year. Kent State touted this increased score in a news release issued Monday.

U.S. News & World Report examined more than 1,400 U.S.-based universities and colleges for its "Best College Rankings," looking at academic quality, with emphasis on graduation and retention rates, as well as graduation rates of students who receive Pell grants. These grants are a federal program for students with financial need.

A new ranking looks at enrollment and graduation rates of low-income students.

Hiram College in Portage County ranked fifth and the University of Mount Union in Alliance ranked 22nd among regional colleges in the Midwest in this new ranking called "Top Performers in Social Mobility." Malone University in Canton ranked 25th among regional universities in the Midwest in this category.

For its primary "Best" rankings, U.S. New and World Report splits schools into two categories. "Best National Universities" and "Best National Liberal Arts Colleges."

The University of Akron was again mentioned in an alphabetical list of lower-ranked (293 to 381) national universities.

In addition to its ranking, Kent State also tied for 167th in the "Best Business Programs" ranking. Kent State tied with numerous other universities, including John Carroll University, Bowling Green State University and the University of Dayton.

Kent touts performance

In its news release, Kent State also noted that it continues to be the only Northeast Ohio institution on the "Top Public Schools" national list. Kent State climbed three spots, ranking 101st in this category. It tied with three other schools, none of them in Ohio, in this category.

The top school in the "Best National Universities" category for the 10th year in a row was Princeton University in New Jersey.

The top ranked school in Ohio in this category was again Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, which tied for 40th with five other schools: Boston University and Brandeis University and Northeastern University in Massachusetts, College of William and Mary in Virginia and Tulane University in Louisiana.

The only two other Ohio schools in the top 100 of "Best National Universities" were Ohio State University (tied for 54th with Santa Clara University in California and Syracuse University in New York) and Miami University (tied for 91st with five other schools: Clark University in Massachusetts, Stony Brook – State University of New York, University of California at Riverside, University of Delaware and University of San Diego.)

In the "Best National Liberal Arts Colleges" category, the College of Wooster was 66th, tying with Knox College in Illinois. Kenyon College ranked 27th and Oberlin ranked 33rd, tying with Scripps College In California.

Williams College in Massachusetts led the national liberal arts colleges ranking, as it has the past two years.

The University of Mount Union ranked 13th and Hiram College  ranked 14th, along with Carthage College in Wisconsin, in the “Best Regional Liberal Arts Colleges of the Midwest” category. Ohio Northern University ranked fifth in this category and Marietta College ranked 10th, tying with Benedictine College in Kansas and Millikin University in Illinois. Heidelberg University ranked 18th.

More rankings

Other Ohio-related finding:

• The University of Mount Union was 13th and Hiram College was 14th in the "Best Regional Colleges in the Midwest" category.

• Kenyon College in Gambier ranked 27th, tying with four other colleges, among the "Best National Liberal Arts Colleges" — the best showing among Ohio schools.

• Oberlin College ranked 33rd in this list, tying with Scripps College in California.

• Ohio State was tied for the 17th highest-ranked public university.

• Ohio University and University of Cincinnati made the list of "A+ Schools for B Students."

• Ohio Northern University, Hiram College, Heidelberg University, Marietta College and the University of Mount Union were among the top 10 "Best Value Regional Universities."

U.S. News groups colleges into categories based on the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. In December 2018, Carnegie updated its system. This meant about 13 percent of ranked schools have moved into different categories.

To view the full rankings, go to https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges?src=usn_pr.