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U.S. News ranks Catawba 15th among Best Regional Colleges in the South

Catawba College continues to be included among the nation’s best regional colleges, according to the 2016 edition of “Best Colleges,” published by U.S. News & World Report. Catawba is ranked 15th among 98 of these best regional colleges in the South, climbing up a position from its 16th ranking in this category in the 2015 edition.

In total, 363 colleges are ranked as “Best Regional Colleges” according to geographic region (North, South, Midwest and West). Highlights of these rankings are published in the magazine available this month on newsstands and available online at www.usnews.com/colleges. The publication offers rankings and data on nearly 1,800 schools.

In recent years, Catawba has consistently placed in the U.S. News rankings. According to U.S. News, regional colleges “focus almost entirely on undergraduate experience and offer a broad range of programs in the liberal arts (which account for fewer than half of all bachelor’s degrees granted) and in fields such as business, nursing and education.” Most of the regional colleges draw heavily from nearby states and grant few graduate degrees.

The U.S. News rankings for regional universities and regional colleges are based on several key measures of quality with 22.5 percent weight given to graduation and retention rates, 22.5 percent given to peer assessment, 20 percent to faculty resources, 12.5 percent to student selectivity, 10 percent to financial resources, 7.5 percent to graduation rate performance, and 5 percent to alumni giving. Regarding the 7.5 percent graduation rate, U.S. News calculates the difference between a school’s six-year graduation rate for the class that entered in 2006 and the rate they predicted for the class. If the actual graduation rate is higher than the predicted rate, the college is enhancing achievement.

The weekly national news magazine U.S. News & World Report marks its 31st year of the annual “Best Colleges” edition with the publication of the 2016 edition.

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