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Wofford among U.S. News best national liberal arts colleges

College also among best values, best for undergraduate teaching

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2018-09-11

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Wofford College remains one of the nation’s top liberal arts colleges and among the best values in higher education, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 edition of “America’s Best Colleges,” released Monday (Sept. 10, 2018).

Wofford is ranked #72 on the report’s National Liberal Arts Colleges list and #37 on the list of Best Value Schools. The college also is ranked #67 in the High School Counselor Ratings and #52 for Best Undergraduate Teaching.

U.S. News ranks 233 national liberal arts colleges this year, the 34th year of the rankings; there are about 500 liberal arts colleges in the country.

“Wofford’s consistent recognition as one of the nation’s best institutions of higher education by U.S. News reflects our commitment to being a premier national liberal arts college defined by excellence, engagement and transformation in preparing our students for meaningful lives as citizens, leaders and scholars,” President Nayef Samhat says. “As a ‘best value college,’ Wofford is noted for our commitment to providing an outstanding academic program while also focusing on affordability to a wide range of students and their families that understand the value of a college education.”

U.S. News points out in this year’s edition of its rankings that new research from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce shows that bachelor’s degree holders earn nearly twice as much as those with a high school diploma. “According to the May 2018 report, the median earnings for a college grad are $62,000 per year compared with $36,000 for a high school diploma holder,” the editors write. “The message to prospective students: Among other benefits, higher education can lead to greater earning power.”

The guide’s rankings evaluate colleges and universities on 16 measures of academic quality, such as first-year student retention, graduation rates and the strength of the faculty.

The best value ranking takes into account the institution’s academic quality, indicated by its best colleges ranking, and the 2017-18 net cost of attendance for a student who received the average level of need-based financial aid. Only institutions ranked in or near the top half of their categories are included in the best value ranking “because U.S. News considers the most significant values to be among colleges that are above average academically.”

The rankings for Best Undergraduate Teaching “focus on schools where faculty and administrators are committed to teaching undergraduate students in a high-quality manner,” the guide says, and are based on responses by college presidents, provosts and admission deans who participated in the annual U.S. News peer assessment survey.

Wofford continues to be included in national college guides for its outstanding academic program, its value and its commitment to economic diversity.

In the most recent ranking by the New York Times for “Top Colleges Doing the Most for the American Dream,” Wofford was #103 on the list of 171 public and private colleges and universities. The ranking is based on the number of lower- and middle-income students – those eligible for Pell Grants – who enroll and the price the college charges them.

In January, Wofford was included among The Princeton Review’s “Colleges That Pay You Back: The 200 Schools that Give You the Best Bang for Your Tuition Buck,” which recognizes institutions for outstanding academics as well as affordability.

The Princeton Review also recently featured Wofford in the 2019 edition of its flagship college guide, “The Best 384 Colleges,” the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education.

Wofford also was ranked #168 in Forbes’ “America’s Top Colleges” and #210 in its “America’s Best Value Colleges,” institutions that “deliver the best bang for the tuition buck based on tuition costs, school quality, post-grad earnings, student debt and graduation rates.”

In July, Wofford was listed the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2019, another prestigious guidebook that profiles colleges and universities on a broad range of subjects, including student body, academics, social life, financial aid, campus setting, housing, food and extracurricular activities.