Bluefield College Ranked Among Top 50 Colleges in the South
Bluefield College has been ranked among the Top 50 Baccalaureate Colleges in the South in U.S.News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges: 2010."
September 17, 2009
More than 300 baccalaureate colleges in four regions of the United States were evaluated for U.S. News' annual study, and Bluefield College was ranked among the second tier, Top 50, schools in the Southern region, which encompasses 12 states, including Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas.
BC earned its Top 50 status based in large part to its small class sizes, student/faculty ratio, and personal attention to students. In fact, according to the U.S. News survey, the college boasts among all baccalaureate colleges in the South the fourth best percentage -- 86.5 percent -- of classes with fewer than 20 students.
"We are certainly pleased with the latest rankings that indicate the level of excellence in learning and personal attention to students that are hallmarks of the Bluefield College tradition," said Dr. Robert Shippey, vice president for academic affairs. "And, we're grateful that an outside entity recognizes the level of quality service that our faculty and staff at Bluefield College provide."
Another measure of standard that helped BC land its Top 50 status was affordability, particularly the limited degree of indebtedness of graduating seniors at Bluefield College. Of all the baccalaureate colleges in the South, BC ranked 16th best in terms of the load of debt incurred by students. The average total debt of graduating seniors who borrowed money to attend BC was $16,918, compared to loads of debt near $40,000 for students from other baccalaureate colleges in the South.
Bluefield College also scored well (32nd among all baccalaureate colleges in the South) in meeting the financial needs of its students through an average financial aid package of nearly $12,000, compared to an average of just $3,700 offered by other baccalaureate schools in the South. BC was listed as meeting an average of 63 percent of the demonstrated need of its students, compared to other schools that met just an average of 13 percent of students' financial need.
"While we are pleased with our standing in the U.S. News rankings, we cannot afford to rest on these laurels," said Dr. Shippey, "but must resolve ourselves to the greater vision of transforming students' lives with innovative learning that will hopefully result in even higher rankings in the future."
In the U.S. News survey of Baccalaureate Colleges in the South, Bluefield College outpaced neighboring schools Concord University, Bluefield State College, and Virginia Intermont College.
The 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. Baccalaureate colleges, like Bluefield College, are those colleges that focus primarily on undergraduate education and offer a range of degree programs in liberal arts.
For a complete listing of the rankings for "America's Best Colleges: 2010," visit the U.S.News & World Report web site at usnews.com/bestcolleges.