According to rankings by U.S. News Media Group, UL Lafayette is one of four public Louisiana universities ranked among the top 281 national colleges. U.S. News Media Group assesses more than 1,500 four-year colleges and universities. Its list is one of many rankings issued throughout the year.

The company made the announcement today in conjunction with publication of “U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges 2014,” an annual guidebook for prospective college students. LSU in Baton Rouge, Louisiana Tech University in Ruston and the University of New Orleans also made the list.

Criteria include peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving. National Universities emphasize faculty research and offer a full range of undergraduate majors, plus master’s and Ph.D. programs.

Last month, Washington Review magazine rated the University of Louisiana at Lafayette as the fourth-best university in the United States at helping lower-income students earn degrees. Princeton Review also cited UL Lafayette as one of the nation’s best 377 institutions for undergraduate education.

In July, UL Lafayette was identified as the most affordable university in Louisiana by the U.S. Department of Education.