U.Va. Maintains Its High Rankings in U.S. News & World Report

September 12, 2012

The University of Virginia retained its spot among the nation's elite institutions of higher education in the 2013 U.S. News & World Report college rankings.

Intact are U.Va.’s string of more than 20 consecutive years in the top 25 listing of best national universities and its rank as the second-best public university, a spot now held for nine straight years.

U.Va. lands this year in a three-way tie for No. 24 among all universities, public and private. It shares the position with the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of Southern California. Last year, U.Va. shared the No. 25 ranking with two other universities.

Harvard and Princeton universities tied for the top spot overall this year.

The University of California, Berkeley, is again rated the top public university, ranked at No. 21 overall. Only three public universities are in the top 25, and just 16 are among the top 50.

The College of William & Mary, ranked at No. 33 among all universities, is the only other Virginia institution in the top 50. Virginia Tech ranks 72nd.

“The U.S. News rankings show again that U.Va. is an exceptional university, one that is run efficiently and an excellent value,” President Teresa A. Sullivan said. “The work we’re beginning now on a new strategic plan, our attention to faculty salaries, curriculum review and related initiatives are the kinds of efforts that can help a university keep improving.”

U.Va. ranked highly on a number of additional U.S. News lists:

  • The McIntire School of Commerce tied for fifth with New York University among best undergraduate business schools. McIntire also was ranked No. 5 under the management specialty.
  • The School of Engineering and Applied Science was ranked in a four-way tie at No. 34 with the University of Florida, Vanderbilt University and Yale University. Its Chemical Engineering department was ranked at No. 20.
  • The University ranks 29th among national universities in the category of best value. Only seven public universities made the top 50 in the category, with the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, highest among publics at No. 17.
  • U.Va. is included in a small group of universities recognized for making a concerted effort to enhance the first-year experience for students.
  • U.Va. also resides on a list of fewer than 30 national universities that score highly based on high school counselors’ college recommendations to students. Cornell University, Dartmouth College and Harvard are among the national universities with the highest score, 4.9 out of five, while U.Va., William & Mary and several others have scores of 4.5.

U.Va. received particularly high marks in several categories used to calculate the main rankings.

Its average freshman retention rate is 97 percent, and its graduation and retention rate overall is tied for 13th. No public university had a higher actual 2011 graduation rate than U.Va., which turned in a rate of 94 percent.

U.Va. ranked 38th in faculty resources, up from 41st last year. This category considers class size, faculty salary and benefits, and ratio of full-time to part-time faculty.

U.Va. protected its high rankings despite relatively low standing in the U.S. News "financial resources rank," which is part of the magazine's overall formula for building its rankings. The category reflects university spending on a per-student basis for instruction, research, student services and related educational expenditures. It also serves as an indicator for the level of state support that public universities receive.

At No. 53, U.Va. has the lowest financial resources rank among the top 25 universities.

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