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; as well as Duke, Wake Forest and UNC 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 bachelor’s, master’s 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 No. 1 and No. 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.
High Point University was No. 1 this year in the Regional Colleges-South category. U.S. News & World Report describes regional universities as 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.
Some other Carolinas schools of note:
• The University of South Carolina ranked No. 1 in International Business.
• Clemson University ranked seventh and N.C. State University 16th in Up and Coming Schools.
The reports also rate colleges and universities in a variety of other categories – by majors, average student debt, and more.
The report can be found at www.usnews.com/education