BC Ranked Among Top Colleges in South (2012)
Bluefield College has been ranked among the Top Tier Colleges in the South in U.S. News and World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges: 2013,” thanks in large part to its personal attention to students, quality of incoming freshmen, and generous financial aid.
October 5, 2012
Small class sizes and personal attention to students are just a couple of reasons why Bluefield College is considered one of the top 50 colleges in the South by U.S. News and World Report.
In fact, BC ranked 49th out of 121 colleges in 12 states that make up U.S. News’ South Region, including Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas.
Nearly 400 regional colleges in four regions of the United States are evaluated in U.S. News’ annual study, including 121 colleges in the South Region, where Bluefield College ranked 49th based on its strong scores in the areas of student/faculty ratio, small class sizes, freshmen SAT scores, financial aid packages, and acceptance rate.
According to the U.S. News survey, Bluefield College boasts among all 121 colleges in the South the fourth best overall student/faculty ratio at 10:1. BC also ranked 22nd overall in the number of classes with fewer than 20 students. Seventy-two percent of Bluefield’s classes have fewer than 20 students, and no class at BC includes more than 50 students. With that kind of class size and student to faculty ratio, BC’s personal attention to students is among the best in the South.
“While there are a number of approaches in measuring the quality of an educational experience, we are appreciative of this recognition by U.S. News,” said President David Olive. “I think this speaks volumes about our gifted faculty and staff and our constant pursuit of excellence in our academic and co-curricular programs.”
Another measure of standard that helped Bluefield College land its Top Tier status was the quality of its incoming students. For example, average SAT scores of incoming freshmen at Bluefield ranked 38th out of the 121 colleges in the South. In addition, the average grade point average for incoming BC students is 3.0, compared to the lowest GPA of 2.0 and highest of 3.7 by other schools in the South.
Similarly, the college fared well in the level of its generosity with financial aid. More than 90 percent of students receive financial aid at Bluefield College at an average value of $12,491 per year. Those numbers placed the college 46th among all colleges in the South in the level of generosity of financial aid.
The result of this generosity: less debt for students graduating from Bluefield College. In fact, U.S. News ranked BC 19th among all schools in the South in the average total indebtedness of its graduating students. Last year, the average BC graduating senior left college with about $21,000 in total debt, compared to an average debt load of more than $30,000 for students at most other colleges in the region and up to $50,000 for some.
In addition, Bluefield College scored well in the level of its selectivity with incoming students, accepting only 49 percent of applicants, compared to a 100 percent acceptance rate by more tolerant schools in the South and an 18 percent acceptance rate by the more exclusive schools in the region. BC’s acceptance rate ranked 46th out of all Southern colleges.
The annual U.S. News rankings offer the opportunity for prospective students to judge the relative quality of academic institutions based on widely accepted indicators of excellence. Schools are categorized by mission, derived from the breakdown of the types of higher education developed by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The categories include National Universities, National Liberal Arts Colleges, Regional Universities, and Regional Colleges with regions divided into North, South, Midwest, and West. Regional colleges, like Bluefield College, focus primarily on undergraduate education.
For a complete listing of the rankings for “America’s Best Colleges: 2013,” visit the U.S. News and World Report web site at www.usnews.com/colleges.