October 01, 2010
U.S. News and World Report: USC Aiken Best in South
The University of South Carolina Aiken is ranked first among the top public regional colleges in the South in the year 2011 edition of U.S.News & World Report's guide, "America's Best Colleges." This is the 13th consecutive year USC Aiken has been ranked in the top three public regional colleges in the South category by U.S.News & World Report. USC Aiken has been ranked first seven times: 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2011.
"We are certainly proud of this recognition for USC Aiken. Our dedicated faculty and staff demonstrate their commitment to students each and every day and that makes this University one of the best in the country," said USC Aiken Chancellor Tom Hallman. "Even in difficult financial times, we have not lost sight of our core mission - providing a high quality educational experience for our students that seek to maximize their potential."
Over the past two decades, the U.S. News college rankings, which group schools based on categories created by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, has grown to be the most comprehensive research tool for students and parents considering higher education opportunities.
"As soaring college costs make the decision more complicated than ever, U.S. News strives to provide students and families with the best information to help guide them through this process," said U.S.News & World Report Editor Brian Kelly. "This year the challenge comes down to finding the right college--at a cost you can afford. The 2011 edition includes specialty rankings, online guides for admission and paying for college advice to help navigate your search."
U.S. News has made some changes to the 2011 Best Colleges' ranking methodology and presentation. This year, schools are designated National Universities, National Liberal Arts Colleges, Regional Universities, and Regional Colleges. Graduation rate performance is more heavily weighted, and now accounts for 7.5 percent of the final score (compared to 5 percent previously) for the National Universities and National Liberal Arts Colleges categories only. For the first time, the opinions of high school guidance counselors are factored.
The 2011 Best Colleges package provides a thorough examination of how more than1,400 accredited four-year schools compare on a set of up to 16 widely accepted indicators of excellence. Among the many factors weighed in determining the rankings, the key measures of quality are: peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, and alumni giving.