Special to the Register & Bee
Averett University continues to rank within the top 15 of the best regional liberal arts colleges in the South by U.S. News & World Report.
Ranked as No. 15, the Danville university continues to be the highest ranking of only three Virginia schools from the complete list of 63 schools on the “2020 Best Regional Colleges in the South” list.
Averett also was ranked No. 7 of best regional colleges in the South for veterans this year, as well as No. 8 for best value. Additionally, Averett was ranked No. 7 of top performers on social mobility, No. 11 of best undergraduate teaching and No. 29 of campus ethnic diversity by U.S. News.
“I am excited that Averett University has consistently earned this top ranking. When I consider that Averett was not even among those listed a decade ago, and now we’ve remained within the top 15 for several years, I could not be prouder that our strategic priorities and student focus are reflected through recognitions like these,” Averett University President Tiffany M. Franks said. “Accolades like these are a direct result of Averett’s continued successes, such as our 6% increase in the freshman-to-sophomore retention rate, and our recent increase in overall retention among traditional students.”
The rankings formula uses exclusively statistical quantitative and qualitative measures that education experts have proposed as reliable indicators of academic quality. To calculate the overall rank for each school within each category, up to 16 metrics of academic excellence are assigned weights that reflect U.S. News’ researched judgment about how much they matter.
To determine which colleges and universities offer the best value for students, U.S. News takes into account both academic quality and cost. For the Best Undergraduate Teaching list, U.S. News asked top academics to name the schools they think have faculty with an unusually strong commitment to undergraduate teaching. College presidents, provosts and admissions deans who participated in the annual U.S. News peer assessment survey were asked to nominate up to 15 schools in their Best Colleges ranking category with a strength in undergraduate teaching.
“Averett’s faculty and staff are among the most dedicated group with which I’ve ever had the privilege to work, and I’m delighted that through this peer assessment, were chosen among the top in the south for their commitment to student success,” Franks said. “Additionally, our placement within the Best Values Schools list demonstrates our focus of staying relevant to workforce demands and student needs, and the recognitions for our commitment to our veterans, the ethnic diversity on Averett’s campus, and the social mobility of our students speak to our value proposition of access and our core value of diversity.”
U.S. News assesses social mobility by measuring how well schools graduated students who received federal Pell Grants, grants typically given to students with lower family incomes.
The ethnic diversity ranking helps identify colleges where students are most likely to encounter undergraduates from racial or ethnic groups different from their own. Best Colleges for Veterans rankings provide military veterans and active-duty service members with data on which top-ranked schools offer benefits that can help them make pursuing a college education more affordable.
The rankings are available at www.usnews.com/ collegemeth.