BOONE—Affordability, a focus on undergraduate instruction and programs that support student success are among the attributes that have once again garnered Appalachian State University top spots in the U.S. News and World Report 2014 America’s Best Colleges Guide.
Appalachian retained its third-place ranking among top regional public universities in the South and tied with Loyola University for 9th place among best public and private universities in the South. The university has placed among the top 15 public and private southern universities since the rankings were first published in 1986.
“Appalachian’s outstanding academic reputation, its affordability and its focus on students are cornerstones of this great institution,” said Chancellor Kenneth E. Peacock. “Through the work of our faculty and staff, and the support of our donors, we have been able to maintain this commitment in good economic times and bad. With adoption of the university’s strategic plan later this year, we will continue to provide transformative experiences for the students who graduate from Appalachian.”
The U.S. News and World Report rankings are based on graduation rates, freshman retention rates, class size, SAT/ACT scores and peer assessment.
Appalachian received five additional accolades from the magazine:
- Fourth in the South, tied with Samford University, for its strong commitment to undergraduate teaching in a list that included eight regional universities
- Fifth in the South, tied with the College of Charleston, in a list of 10 other southern universities considered by college presidents, provosts and admission deans as “Up-and Comers” for “promising and innovative changes in the areas of academics, faculty, student life, camps or facilities”
- 10th in the South among public and private institutions in the “Great Schools at Great Prices” category, based on the 2012-13 net cost of attending the university for a student who received the average level of need-based financial aid
- Listed in the “Focus on Student Success” category for its first-year experience program for freshmen
- Included in the A-Plus Schools for B Students” among a list of Southern regional universities
“These rankings are evidence of the focus on our primary mission of teaching. Our dedicated faculty works each day to transform lives in and out of the classroom,” said Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Lori S. Gonzalez.
Other institutions included in the magazine’s list of top public regional universities are:
1. The Citadel
2. James Madison University
3. Appalachian State University
4. College of Charleston
5. University of Mary Washington
6. University of North Carolina Wilmington
7. Christopher Newport University
8. Murray State University (tie)
8. Winthrop University (tie)
10. Georgia College and State University
11. Western Kentucky University
12. Longwood University
13. Radford University (tie)
13. Tennessee Technological University (tie)
15. University of Montevallo
The editors of U.S. News said they publish the rankings because, “A college education is one of the most important—and one of the most costly—investments that prospective students will ever make.” It’s their belief that the rankings provide students and families information that will help them compare the academic quality of schools.