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Sep 22, 2016 11:41 AM EDT

Arizona State University - Tempe Outranks Stanford and MIT as Most Innovative Schoolari

ASU Sun Devil Stadium
Portrait of the entrance to Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona, where the Arizona Cardinals and the Arizona State Sun Devils play football.
(Photo : Getty Images Sport)

Innovation and technology are words that have been synonymous to MIT and Stanford University. However, the title for most innovative school goes to Arizona State University outranking Stanford which comes in second and MIT on third.

The U.S News and World Report which awards these rankings to schools base their choices on innovative improvements these schools have made on their facilities, faculty, curriculum, student life, and technology.
According to an ASU official, this has been made possible through ASU President Michael Crow's visionary desire to make ASU a one-of-a-kind university by creating it into a "New American University." This plan focuses on four things - reduce tuition fee costs, build a downtown campus, produce more research, and develop an online degree program.

Once Crow put his plan into motion, the student population grew exponentially from 47,000 to 300,000. It is now offering 140 online degree programs as well. In terms of completion rates, the school's rate growth has increased as well with 37 percent of the students receiving Pell grants.

Another innovative idea of the university is their online degree program called EdPlus which has now 20,000 students. On the other hand, its downtown Phoenix campus has a nursing school, center for law and society, journalism, a fitness center, and a college of public service. The downtown campus has a total population of 10,952 students.

Despite the praises it received, the Arizona State University has also received a lot of criticisms from both practitioners and observers. Those who praise ASU commend Crow for its innovation landing the school more funds. A report said that the university's research portfolio funded by the federal government has a reported growth of 162 percent.

Critics, on the other hand, says that despite the title, the university didn't do much in terms of getting their papers published in scientific journals.

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