For the second year in a row, Ball State has been ranked as one of the top 25 schools for undergraduate entrepreneurship studies, but this year, Ball State moved up eight spots from 20th to 12th.

The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine ranked schools based on surveys that  administrators at more than 300 schools took from July to August 2018, and over 40 data points were used. Ball State is the only Indiana school on the list.

Krystal Geyer, assistant director of Ball State’s Entrepreneurship Center, said moving up in the rankings feels incredible.

“We do great work in the Entrepreneurship Center, but it’s really a testament to what our students are doing, what our alumni are doing — going out and actually starting their companies and raising money,” Geyer said. “It’s really, really great for them to be recognized as well.”

Geyer is proud to be a part of the entrepreneurship program and is awe-inspired to see the work graduates have done in the Muncie community, across Indiana and around the world.

“It is absolutely a huge blessing to get to work with the students that I do … I really don’t think I could be any more proud to be a part of it,” Geyer said.

Kyli Penrod, a junior entrepreneurship major, was excited when Ball State was ranked last year and was happy to see it again.

“I was actually sitting in an entrepreneurship class when I saw Dr. [Matt] Marvel and Krystal and a few of the office workers out there with the number 12 and the big sign so realizing that as I was sitting in the classroom was so amazing and surreal because I’m a part of that program,” Penrod said.

Penrod said the program has shown her that she can do anything she wants to do. In the future, Penrod hopes to own her own venue.

“[The ranking] makes me feel really excited about what we’re doing cause we’re a pretty small, midwestern school and I just feel that we’re kind of the best at what we do and especially in our area. It just makes me feel super proud of everyone going through the program and everyone that passes,” Penrod said.

Geyer plans to use the higher ranking as a recruitment tool and wants to inspire young people to be entrepreneurs.

“The Midwest is absolutely a great place to [be an entrepreneur]. You don’t have to go to one of the coasts, you don’t have to go to Silicon Valley, you can be a great entrepreneur right here in Indiana,” Geyer said. “It’s huge when you can go to a nationwide conference and kinda hold your own against the Stanfords and the schools that are traditionally what you think of when you think of startups and entrepreneurship.”

 Contact Michelle Kaufman with comments or on Twitter at @mkaufman85.