Catawba among Top 10 Best Colleges in the South by U.S. News & World Report guide

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 15, 2022

Catawba College News Service

SALISBURY — For the seventh straight year, Catawba College was ranked among the Top 10 Best Colleges in the South by U.S. News & World Report. Catawba rose in the rankings to No. 5.

Catawba was also recognized as:

• No. 4 in Best Colleges for Veterans

• No. 21 in Top Performers in Social Mobility

• No. 28 in Best Value Schools

• Campus Ethnic Diversity

“The new rankings recognize our dedication to providing a high quality, student-centered experience along with expanded access and affordability for our increasingly diverse campus community,” said Dr. David P. Nelson, president of Catawba College, in a news release. “We remain committed to providing learning experiences that enable students to explore the world and discover their place in it.”

U.S. News & World Report publishes the Best Colleges for Veterans rankings to provide data on top-ranked schools that make pursuing a college education more affordable for veterans and active-duty service members.

Catawba also earned a spot on the U.S. News and World Report’s Best Colleges Social Mobility list, which measures how well institutions graduate students who have received Pell Grants, most of whom come from families with adjusted gross incomes below $50,000.

Affordability matters in finding the best fit school. But for many prospective students, a school’s sticker price alone will not capture their true cost of attending. To determine which public, private, and for-profit colleges and universities offer the best value for students, U.S. News & World Report factors academic quality and cost after accounting for total expenses and financial aid.

College-bound students who prioritize learning alongside people of different racial and ethnic backgrounds will want to consider campus ethnic diversity when choosing a school. To identify colleges where students are most likely to encounter undergraduates from racial or ethnic groups different from their won, U.S. News & World Report factored in the total proportion of minority students – leaving out international students – and the overall mix of groups.

The 38th edition of the U.S. News and World Report’s Best Colleges rankings evaluated 1,500 colleges and universities on up to 17 measures of academic quality.

About 10% of ranked schools moved into different categories this year. For example, a school ranked previously as a Regional University may now be ranked as a National University. This is due to the “2021 update” from the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, which U.S. News has used since the first Best Colleges rankings in 1983 to compare schools with similar missions.

To calculate the rankings, U.S. News focuses on academic quality and places emphasis on outcome measures – including graduation rates, retention rates, graduate indebtedness and social mobility. Outcomes are the mostly highly weighted ranking factor, contributing 40% to each school’s overall score.