Retention, Graduation Rates Keep U.Va. No. 2 Public in U.S. News Rankings

The Rotunda in the fall

Once again, U.S. News & World Report has ranked the University of Virginia second among the nation’s public universities, and 23rd among all universities, public or private. The rankings were released Tuesday.

It marks the 11th straight year that U.Va. is rated the No. 2 public university (this year, tied with the University of California, Los Angeles, with both schools just behind the University of California, Berkeley, which ranked 20th overall). Virginia has been rated among the top 25 national universities every year since the magazine began publishing its rankings in 1988.

One reason, among many: Students love and succeed at U.Va. The University is tied for 10th nationally in the magazine’s ranking that combines retention and graduation rates – best among the public universities – and U.Va.’s 93 percent graduation rate is five points higher than the magazine’s formula predicts.

“The University has sustained its strong position in the rankings for several reasons,” U.Va. President Teresa A. Sullivan said. “Our students are among the best in the nation in their academic performance. Our faculty excel in both teaching and research, while our staff members provide outstanding support. Our alumni and parents are loyal and generous. And we manage the University’s operations efficiently with limited financial resources.

“All of these factors have shaped U.Va.’s reputation as a model of excellence in higher education.”

Princeton University held onto the top spot overall, ahead of Harvard University and Yale University. Among other Virginia schools, the College of William & Mary ranked No. 33 overall (No. 6 among public universities) and Virginia Tech tied for 71st (tied for No. 27 among publics).

In the magazine’s complex formula, U.Va. also benefited from solid reputational rankings among peers and high school guidance counselors. However, the University ranked only 59th in financial resources; no other school in the top 25 ranked lower than 38th in that category, and only six other schools in the top 50 ranked lower than U.Va.

The annual U.S. News Best Colleges issue also included several secondary rankings. U.Va. rated 27th nationally in the “Great Schools, Great Prices” list, and was part of a seven-way tie for 22nd among “The High School Counselors’ Top College Picks.” The University was also listed (alphabetically) among 15 schools with a superior first-year experience.

The magazine also rated undergraduate business and engineering schools. U.Va.’s McIntire School of Commerce was rated sixth in the country, tied with the Keenan-Flagler School of Business at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. McIntire’s finance program was rated No. 5 in the nation and its management program was ranked No. 3.

U.Va.’s School of Engineering and Applied Science moved into a tie for 31st nationally this year, up slightly from a tie for 35th last year.

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