South Dakota State University and the University of North Dakota tied for the same spot. USD also shared mentions for top public schools, high school counselor ratings and business programs. Read the full report on USD.

The U.S. News rankings are based on several key measures of quality, including graduation and retention rates, assessment of excellence, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, graduation rate performance and alumni giving.

U.S. News said schools like USD in the national universities category offer a full range of undergraduate majors as well as master's and doctoral programs. The colleges also are committed to producing groundbreaking research.

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