U.S. News & World Report released its 2019 “Best Colleges” rankings Monday, with South Carolina schools appearing on several of the lists.
Each year, U.S. News & World Report releases its college rankings broken down by categories. This year, the lists were derived from data on more than 1,800 schools nationwide.
Clemson University was the top college from South Carolina on the “Best National Universities” list at 66th out of 301 schools — last year the university was 67th.
Clemson is also ranked 24th on the “Top Public Colleges” list of national universities, tied with Texas A&M University.
This is Clemson’s 11th year ranked among the top 25 public schools on the U.S. News list.
“To be ranked again as one of the top public universities in the country is well-deserved recognition for our faculty and staff, who work so hard to make Clemson University’s academics, facilities, and experience the best for our students,” Robert Jones, Clemson’s executive vice president for academic affairs and provost, said in a statement. “We can all be proud of this accomplishment.”
The Citadel was ranked No. 1 for “Top Public School — Regional Universities South” category, ahead of College of Charleston (No. 5), Winthrop University (No. 8), Coastal Carolina University (No. 19), and Francis Marion University (No. 29).
Coastal Carolina University was ranked No. 2 in “Best Value Schools Regional Universities — South,” ahead of Bob Jones University (No. 4), Converse College (No. 9), The Citadel (No. 11), Columbia College (No. 18), Anderson University (No. 36), Winthrop University (No. 55), and College of Charleston (No. 62).
The University of South Carolina — Aiken was ranked first in the “Top Public School — Regional Colleges South” category, ahead of USC — Upstate (No. 2), Lander University (No. 3), and USC — Beaufort (No. 9).
The Citadel is also listed in the top three “Best Regional Universities — South” category.
Claflin University was ranked No. 7 nationwide for “Historically Black Colleges and Universities.”
U.S. News has announced some changes in its methodology for this year’s rankings to add a heavier emphasis on student outcomes — last year, student outcomes were about 30 percent of a college’s ranking, while this year, they make up about 35 percent.
In an effort to emphasize outcomes, U.S. News eliminated acceptance rates as a factor and added the graduation rates of Pell Grant recipients. Expert opinions and SAT/ACT scores are also less influential on the rankings than in years past.
Robert Morse, chief data strategist at U.S. News, said in a statement that the changes were implemented “recognizing colleges that serve all of their students, regardless of economic status,” as well as student outcomes.
“A university is not successful if it does not graduate its students, which is why the ‘Best Colleges’ rankings place the greatest value on outcomes, including graduation and retention rates,” Morse said in the statement.
U.S. News uses 16 measures to come up with the rankings, including graduation rates and first-year student retention rates.
A complete list of the rankings can be found on the U.S. News & World Report website.