Sept. 9, 2014. Appalachian State University is listed No. 3 among top regional public universities in the south and No. 9 among public and private universities in the south in U.S. News and World Report’s 2015 Best Colleges Rankings.
The rankings are based on graduation and retention rates (22.5 percent of a school’s score), assessment of excellence (22.5 percent), faculty resources (20 percent), student selectivity (12.5 percent), financial resources (10 percent), graduation rate performance (7.5 percent), which is the difference between actual and predicted graduation rates and alumni giving (5 percent).
In addition, Appalachian is listed 14th among the regional universities in the south in the magazine’s “Best Value Schools” list and is one of 15 schools cited for their first-year experience program in the magazine’s “A Focus on Student Success” section. Appalachian is also considered an “A-Plus Schools for B Students” on a list of 23 southern regional universities.
The editors of U.S. News believe rankings are only one of the many criteria students should consider in choosing a college and should not be used as the sole basis to choose one school over another. They suggest that students use the rankings to create an initial list of schols to consider, to narrow down that list and to compare overall academic quality. Students can also use date underlying the rankings to identify schools with specific characteristics they value, according to the magazine’s information on the methodology used to generate the rankings.
Top schools in the magazine’s list of top public institutions in the south are:
- The Citadel
- James Madison University
- Appalachian State University
- College of Charleston (tie)
- University of Mary Washington (tie)
- UNC Wilmington
- Christopher Newport University
- Wilthrop University
- Murray State University
- Georgia College and State University