MONTGOMERY, AL - Several of Alabama's public colleges and universities are sharing the spotlight when it comes to high national rankings, according to the U.S. News and World Report. The University of Alabama, Auburn University and Troy University were among the top ranking universities in the nation.
UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA
The University of Alabama is ranked 34th among public national universities and 79th among all universities, both public and private, according to U.S. News and World Report's annual rankings for 2011. The ranking places UA in the top 6 percent of the 1,400 colleges and universities surveyed by U.S. News. There are approximately 2,700 four-year public and private colleges and universities in the country.
UA has been ranked among the top 50 public universities in the nation for the last 10 years.
"We are pleased with this national recognition that comes as we welcome another outstanding freshman class to The University of Alabama," said UA President Robert E. Witt. "Our record applications and growing enrollment indicate that students and their families recognize the quality and value of a University of Alabama education."
In addition to the overall rankings, UA's Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration is ranked 35th among business schools at public universities and 57th among business schools at all universities.
Auburn University is ranked 38th among public universities nationwide, up from 39th last year, according to an annual survey released by U.S. News & World Report. The ranking marks the 18th consecutive year the magazine has ranked Auburn among the nation's top 50 public universities.
Auburn ranked 85th nationally among both public and private schools, up from 88th in 2009. Its College of Business undergraduate program ranked 24th among public schools and 42nd in the nation, up from 57th. The undergraduate program of Auburn's Samuel Ginn College of Engineering ranked 56th nationally overall, up from 64th last year, and 32nd among public universities that offer doctoral programs in engineering.
Among land-grant institutions, Auburn ranked 19th in the nation. Auburn is also included in the magazine's list of A-Plus Schools for B Students, which identifies schools that admit solidly prepared high-school students and do a good job of helping them advance toward their educational goals.
"The U.S. News ratings are based on indicators that some prospective college students may value, such as general reputation or selectivity," said Drew Clark, director of Auburn's Office of Institutional Research and Assessment. "But Auburn also uses assessments that provide direct information on equally important indicators of quality, such as how much students are actually learning and what kind of college experience they have."
Troy University has been named a top-tier school among its peer institutions in the South in the latest national ranking by a major U.S. publication.
U.S. News and World Report's annual guide "Best Colleges" named Troy University one of the 65 best universities on its "Regional Guide." Some 527 universities are included in the guide nationally, and 118 in the 12-state region.
Criteria reviewed include graduation rate, class size, SAT/ACT scores of entering freshmen, retention rate of freshmen and acceptance rate of freshmen and transfer students.
"Troy University continues to be a best value – both in terms of the quality of education our students receive and in terms of what that education ultimately costs them – because of good stewardship among our faculty and staff in caring for and educating our students," said Dr. Jack Hawkins Jr., Chancellor. "In times of economic instability and diminishing state budgets, stewardship and a culture of caring pays dividends to our students that others readily see."
In addition to the designation by U.S News and World Report, the University was recently named one of the top 16 "best buys" in higher education, and the top-ranked university in Alabama, by Forbes magazine. GI Jobs has included TROY among the top 15 percent of the nation's universities as military friendly. The Laboratory for the Study of Intercollegiate Athletics ranked TROY 10th among all NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) athletic departments in its 2010 Excellence in Management Cup.
To establish its rankings U.S. News categorizes colleges and universities primarily by mission and, in some cases, region. The magazine then gathers data from each on up to 16 indicators of academic excellence, assigning each factor a weight that reflects the magazine's judgment about how much each measure matters.
The indicators the magazine staff uses to capture academic quality fall into seven categories: academic reputation among its peers, retention of students, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving, and (for national universities and liberal arts colleges) the graduation rate performance, or the difference between the proportion of students expected to graduate and the proportion who actually do.
Highlights of the rankings will be published in the September issue of U.S. News & World Report, available on newsstands Aug. 31. The 2011 Best Colleges guidebook will be on newsstands Aug. 24.