BC Ranked Among Top Colleges in South
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: 2015,” thanks in large part to its personal attention to students and affordability.
November 14, 2014
President David Olive.
In fact, BC ranked 54th out of the more than 100 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. Only 75 colleges in the 12 states made the distinguished Top Tier.
“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 Dr. David Olive, president of Bluefield College. “I think this reflects well on our gifted faculty and staff and our constant pursuit of excellence in our academic and co-curricular programs.”
Nearly 400 regional colleges in four regions of the United States are evaluated in U.S. News’ annual study, including 98 colleges in the South Region, the largest region in the study and where Bluefield College ranked 54th based on its strong scores in the areas of small class sizes, financial aid packages, limited debt of graduates, and graduation rates.
According to the U.S. News survey, Bluefield College boasts among all colleges in the South the 13th best number of classes with fewer than 20 students. Seventy-six percent of Bluefield’s classes have fewer than 20 students, compared to some colleges in the South that have no classes with fewer than 20 students. With that kind of small class size, BC’s personal attention to students is among the best in the South.
“Faculty at Bluefield are not distant figures intoning from the front of a lecture hall,” said BC’s Trent Argo, vice president for enrollment management. “They think of themselves as mentors, taking a personal interest in their students, and helping them to identify and harness the passion that will move them beyond mediocrity to brilliance.”
Another measure of standard that helped Bluefield College land its Top Tier status was the generosity of its financial aid. The average financial aid package for incoming freshman at BC is just more than $18,000. The overall average financial aid package among all students is $14, 942. According to U.S. News, that’s 35th best in the South, compared to the South’s worst at $3,600.
The result of that generous financial aid: less debt for Bluefield College graduates. In fact, students who graduate from Bluefield do so with just $21,553 in debt, and according to U.S. News that’s the 13th best effort among all colleges in the South to limit student indebtedness, compared to colleges on the U.S. News list who are sending students away with more than $40,000 debt.
Similarly, the college fares well in graduating its students, said U.S. News, as evidenced by its six-year graduation rate, which ranked 30th among all colleges in the South. BC is also a military friendlyschool, according to U.S. News, who ranked Bluefield 17th among all colleges in the South in its “Best Colleges for Veterans” category.
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: 2015,” visit the U.S. News and World Report web site at www.usnews.com/colleges.