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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: 2014,” thanks in large part to its personal attention to students, quality of incoming freshmen, and generous financial aid.

Chris Shoemaker

September 24, 2013

Student Engagement Survey

Small class sizes and personal attention to students helped place Bluefield College in the Top Tier in the South in U.S. News and World Report's "America's Best Colleges: 2014."


In fact, BC ranked 53rd out of 119 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 119 colleges in the South Region, where Bluefield College ranked 53rd based on its strong scores in the areas of student/faculty ratio, small class sizes, freshmen SAT scores, financial aid packages, and limited debt of graduates.


According to the U.S. News survey, Bluefield College boasts among all 119 colleges in the South the 33rd best overall student/faculty ratio at 13:1. BC also ranked 19th overall in the number of classes with fewer than 20 students. Seventy-five 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 30th out of all the colleges in the South who accept students based on the SAT.


Similarly, the college fared well in the level of its generosity with financial aid. About 90 percent of students receive financial aid at Bluefield College at an average value of $14,127 per year. With some colleges giving as little as $3,539 per year, BC’s numbers placed it 34th 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 16th 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 $23,000 in total debt, compared to an average debt load of more than $47,000 for students at other colleges in the region.


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





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