In the spring of 2008, U.S. News asked top academics as part of the regular U.S. News peer assessment survey to name the schools that they think are "Up-and-Coming Institutions." College presidents, provosts, and admissions deans were asked to nominate up to 10 colleges in their U.S. News America's Best Colleges ranking category "that are making improvements in academics, faculty, students, campus life, diversity, and facilities. These schools are worth watching because they are making promising and innovative changes." This item on the peer survey enabled college officials to pick schools within their ranking category that are rapidly evolving in ways that the public should be aware of and that are not always quickly noticeable in a college's year-to-year rankings.
The "Up and Coming" rankings are based solely on the responses to this section of the peer survey. The following lists, organized by U.S. News ranking categories, contain the 70 colleges that received the most nominations by top college officials for being an up-and-coming institution. They are ranked in descending order based on the number of nominations they received.