Carolinas schools make magazine's annual 'Best Colleges' lists

Carolinas schools make magazine's annual 'Best Colleges' lists

Credit: AP

Carolinas schools make magazine's annual 'Best Colleges' lists


by STEVE LYTLE / The Charlotte Observer

Posted on September 12, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 12 at 4:01 PM

Several Carolinas schools were among the top-ranked colleges and universities in this year’s U.S. News & World Report listing of the nation’s “Best Colleges.”

Among them was Davidson College, which was among leaders in the National Liberal Arts College rankings; and Duke University, Wake Forest University, and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, which were among the leaders in the National University category.

High Point and Elon universities also finished at or near the top in regional categories, and several other schools were among leaders in specialized categories.

The U.S. News & World Report rankings are based on a number of criteria, including opinion surveys; reputation among college and university officials; graduation and retention rates; faculty resources; student selectivity; financial resources; and alumni giving.

The National University category, for large institutions that focus on research and offer bachelors, masters and doctorate degrees, was dominated by Ivy League schools. Harvard University remained No. 1, followed by Princeton, Yale, Columbia and the University of Chicago in the top five.

Duke was ranked No. 8 in that category this year, with Wake Forest 27th and UNC 30th.

New England schools dominated the National Liberal Arts College category, for schools that emphasize undergraduate education and offer at least half their degrees in liberal arts. Williams College and Amherst College, each in Massachusetts, ranked 1 and 2.

Davidson College was 12th and Furman 49th in that category. Davidson annually is among the top 10 to 15 schools in that ranking.

Elon University ranked second in the Regional Universities-South category, which was topped by Rollins College in Florida. Appalachian State University ranked 10th in that category, with College of Charleston, UNC Wilmington and Queens University of Charlotte also receiving mention.

And High Point University was No. 1 this year in the Regional Colleges-South category. U.S. News & World says Regional Universities are schools that offer an array of undergraduate programs and some postgraduate degrees, while Regional Colleges specialize in undergraduate education.

The Best Value category was led by Harvard, with Duke ranked ninth. That category rates schools based on the average discount students receive -- through grants and scholarships -- from the overall cost. Duke students, on average, receive a 64 percent discount. UNC ranked 17th, with an average 55 percent discount for students.

Some other Carolinas schools of note:

-- The University of South Carolina was ranked No. 1 in International Business.

-- Clemson University was ranked seventh and N.C. State University 16th in Up and Coming Schools.

The reports also rates colleges and universities in a wide variety of other categories -- by majors, average student debt, and more.

The report can be found at this site.

The leaders

National Universities: 1. Harvard; 2. Princeton; 3. Yale; 4. Columbia; 5. University of Chicago; 6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology; 7. Stanford; 8. Duke; 9. University of Pennsylvania. 10. California Institute of Technology. Also, 27. Wake Forest; 30. UNC Chapel Hill.

National Liberal Arts Colleges: 1. Williams College (Mass.); 2. Amherst College (Mass.); 3. Swarthmore (Pa.); 4. (tie) Middlebury (Vt.) and Pomona (Calif.); 6. (tie) Bowdoin (Maine), Wellesley (Mass.) and Carleton (Minn.); 9. Haverford (Pa.); 10. Claremont McKenna (Calif.). Also, 12. Davidson; 49. Furman.

Regional Universities-South: 1. Rollins (Fla.); 2. Elon; 3. Stetson (Fla.); 4. Samford (Ala.); 5. The Citadel; 6. James Madison; 7. (tie) Belmont (Tenn.) and Mercer (Ga.); 9. Loyola-New Orleans; 10. Appalachian State. Also, 11. College of Charleston; 14. UNC Wilmington; 20. Queens University of Charlotte.

Regional Colleges-South: 1. High Point; 2. John Brown (Ark.); 3. Meredith; 4. (tie) Asbury (Ky.) and Florida Southern; 6. (tie) Covenant (Ga.), Milligan (Tenn.) and Wheeling Jesuit (W. Va.). Also, 14. Lenoir-Rhyne; 17. Catawba; 23. (tie) USC Aiken and USC Upstate.

Public Universities: 1. Cal-Berkeley; 2. (tie) UCLA and Virginia; 4. Michigan; 5. UNC Chapel Hill.