Local colleges finds spots on latest U.S. News and World Report rankings

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 16, 2021

SALISBURY — U.S. News and World Report this week released its closely watched college rankings. Catawba College and Livingstone College are both featured on the list.

Catawba was scored well overall by the publication, landing eighth in the South regional college category. It received high marks in other areas as well. On the regional lists, it placed sixth on best colleges for veterans, fifth in best undergraduate teaching, 26th for best value, fifth in most innovative and 12th in the social mobility top performers.

The college has placed well historically and been in the top 10 on the regional list for six years straight. In 2020, Catawba placed on spot higher, seventh.

“Our growing reputation reflects our constant determination to create a top-tier academic and student-centered experience,” Catawba President David Nelson said. “These rankings and other accolades with objective metrics recognize the strength of a Catawba degree.”

Livingstone did not score as well overall, but it still placed in the best regional college and historically Black colleges and universities list in the 71-93 and 59-78 brackets, respectively.

Livingstone was ranked highly in the top performers on social mobility list, 36th.

The publication breaks down its ranking methodology for its lists in detail on its website. The publication acknowledges that students who are at an economic disadvantage are less likely to finish college and the social mobility rankings are based on how well colleges enroll and graduate those students.

Specifically, the ratings are based on the graduation rates of Pell Grant recipients.

“This placement among top performers in social mobility is evident that we are succeeding in our mission, which is to take students from where they are, to where they need to be, so they can command their rightful place in a global society,” said Livingstone President Jimmy Jenkins.

Jenkins said advancing mobility for disadvantaged people has always been the driving force for Livingstone.

“Our founders knew then, like we know now, that education is the surest vehicle for upward mobility in the world.”

He pointed to the college’s Bridge Program, which allows high school graduates to spend six of weeks of the summer at Livingstone to prepare for college in the fall.

Both Catawba and Livingstone improved their social mobility rankings when compared to 2020. Catawba gained six positions. Livingstone gained 12.

Pfeiffer University, which sits just outside of Rowan County, in Misenheimer, was considered on the regional universities list rather than the colleges list. It was ranked in the 104-137 range overall and No. 62 for social mobility

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About Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship has covered education for the Post since December 2019. Before coming to Salisbury he was a staff writer for The Avery Journal-Times in Newland and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017, where he was editor of The Appalachian.

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