A popular ranking of colleges and universities released Monday has placed several Connecticut institutions near the top of its lists. The U.S. News and World Report's 37th annual rankings put Yale University in its top five for best national universities and value, Wesleyan University within its top 20 national liberal arts colleges, and the University of Connecticut in its top 25 public schools. Other schools received high marks for select programs and regional strengths. The rankings evaluated more than 1,400 colleges and universities on up to 17 measures of academic quality, a press release read. The report takes into account many factors including graduation and retention rates; social mobility and student debt; faculty compensation and degree attainment; class sizes and student-faculty ratios; incoming student test scores and class rank; financial resources; and alumni giving. New this year, the U.S. News and World Report altered its approach to standardized test scores. Schools can receive full credit for SAT\/ACT performance if 50 percent of their incoming students submit scores, compared to 75 percent previously. The change was made in response to a decline in test submissions during the fall 2020 admissions cycle, according to the press release. Prestigious Connecticut institutions Yale University and Wesleyan University ranked fifth in national universities and 17th in national liberal arts colleges, respectively. Yale tied with MIT for fourth last cycle, but the Ivy League school ranked first this year as the "best value" school, taking into account its academic quality and the average out-of-state attendance cost, including need-based financial aid. Quinnipiac University also ranked within the top 50 best value schools. Wesleyan tied with Barnard College in New York, Colby College in Maine, Colgate University in New York and Smith College in Massachusetts. It ranked 14th for best value in the country. UConn ranked 23rd among the nation's public institutions, tying with Penn State and Rutgers. The school held the same ranking last year. The 2022 list marks UConn's 10th consecutive year among the top 25 public universities. "Consistency is a particularly important part of excellence," said Dr. Andrew Agwunobi, the interim president and CEO of UConn Health, in a statement. "UConn's placement among the nation's top 25 universities over the past decade underscores its deep and abiding commitment to excellence in academics and student success." A press release for the school said its most "impactful improvement" this year was its faculty resources, including high degrees among faculty, appropriate class sizes, and good faculty compensation. "It's validating to see advancements in areas we are intentionally targeting through university priorities," said Carl Lejuez, the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. "On the faculty side, we are engaged in a number of initiatives to attract and support a diverse array of excellent scholars with tangible efforts to retain them here at UConn." Average SAT scores for incoming students decreased, but UConn does not see that as cause for concern because of its "holistic admissions process" and piloting of a test-optional admissions policy, a press release read. "While it is still very early, we are encouraged by the strong response to the test-optional pilot on the part of prospective students," said Nathan Fuerst, the vice president for enrollment planning and management. He added the entering class drew record applications and the most diverse class in university history. Trinity College in Hartford and Connecticut College in New London both ranked in the top 50 for national liberal arts colleges. Fairfield University ranked third among best northern regional universities, which offer few if any doctoral programs and grant less than half of degrees in liberal arts. The Connecticut State Colleges and Universities were also on that list, with Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic ranking 85th; Central Connecticut State University in New Britain 97th; Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven 103rd; and Western Connecticut State University in Danbury 114th. Sacred Heart just missed the top 200 but made the national universities list. "This recognition is a testament to the educational excellence and successful outcomes we provide our students," said John Petillo, the president of Sacred Heart. "We are proud of our students, faculty and staff who work hard to ensure the SHU experience is exceptional. We are pleased to be included again in this ranking among other excellent institutions."