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NEW: US News Names Best Colleges 2012—How Did the Locals Do?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

 

They're finally here. US News' 2012 Best Colleges rankings of 1,600 schools nationwide have arrived this morning with customary obsessive attention nationwide.

There were few surprises at the top of the heap. Harvard and Princeton Universities tied for the #1 slot among the nation's National Universities, and Williams College in MA held on to its spot as #1 in Liberal Arts Colleges.

How did Rhode Island's universities and colleges do?

NATIONAL UNIVERSITIES CATEGORY

Brown University

Rhode Island's Ivy League University ranked #15 in 2012 among National Universities, maintaining its exact spot from last year.  Brown was also named the #15 Best Value National University in 2012, with 43.4% of its student body receiving need-based grants, representing a 62% discount of total cost of attendance... the only Best Value honor granted to a RI-based college or university in 2012.

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Brown University takes Top 20 honors among nation's top universities

Brown got high marks on numerous assessments in the US News rankings: a high average freshman retention rate of 98% and a six-year graduation rate of 96%,which combined to put Brown at #6 in the nation for graduation and retention. Brown also received high marks for its number of classes with under 20 students (63.8%).

When it comes to faculty, Brown performed in the top echelon of the nation with a #20 ranking nationally for faculty resources, and was credited for 92.9% of faculty being full-time.

It may be no surprise that 93% of Brown's freshmen were in the top 10 percent of their high school classes, another high ranking for the university. Finally, Brown's average alumni giving rate of 36% gave it a "high" ranking in US News' calculations, and placed it at #6 nationally.

Finally, high school counselors gave Brown a 4.8 out of 5 score... no wonder the Fall 2010 rate was just 9%.

University of Rhode Island

The state's public university took the #160 spot in US News' National Universities rankings, up 7 spots from its 2011 ranking at #167.

URI took away "medium" rankings for its average freshman retention rate (80%) and 6-year graduation rate (63%).

REGIONAL UNIVERSITIES CATEGORY

Providence College

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Providence College: Top 5 among Regional Universities

Ranked in US News' Regional Universities/North category, PC boasts a #4 ranking overall, but this is a slip from last year's #2 ranking.

PC performed best on graduation and retention factors, placing #2 in the region with an average freshman retention rate of 92% and a 6-year graduation rate of 87%. The private college also received high marks for 90.5% of its faculty being full-time, plus 37% of its freshman coming from the top 10 percent of their high school classes. Loyal alums who give also kept PC at the top of the regional heap, ranking #5 in its category with an average alumni giving rate of 23%.

In the Regional University/North category, Villanova in PA took #1 honors, followed by Fairfield University in CT and Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore. PC tied with the College of New Jersey for its #4 position, and was followed by nearby Bentley University in Waltham at #6.

Bryant University

No change for Bryant in 2012, maintaining a strong #16 ranking in the Regional Universities/North category.

The private university in Smithfield performed best overall in average freshman retention rate (88%) and 6-year graduation rate (74%), placing it at #14 in its category. Bryant also was credited for having no classes with 50 or more students.

Salve Regina University

In the biggest upward move of the year in Rhode Island, Salve Regina moves up considerably among Regional Universities/North this year, ranking at #34, up from 2011's ranking of #40.

The private Newport university did best among its peers when it came to alumni giving, ranking at #4 with a rate of 23%. Salve also performed well in US News' graduation rates, ranking #39 with a rate of 68%.

Roger Williams University

US News moved institutions from category to category this year, based on new assessments, and Roger Williams is now ranked in the Regional Universities/North category (in 2011 it was part of the Regional Colleges category). This year's #46 ranking therefore can't be compared to its performance last year, in a different group. But this ranking establishes the Bristol private institution in the middle of the RI pack of Regional Universities.  

RWU did well overall in faculty resources, ranking #9, and received high marks for no classes with 50 or more students. The school also did well in the overall category for financial resources, ranking at #30.

Johnson and Wales University

JWU bumped up its ranking in the Regional Universities/North category in 2012, ranking at #82 (in 2011 JWU came in at #84).

The Providence-based private university with programs ranging from well-known culinary and hospitality departments to liberal arts and business, placed highest in its category for financial resources, at #8. A very small number of classes with 50 or more students (0.1%) helped its overall ranking as well.

Rhode Island College

RIC notches the state's worst ranking drop this year, placing in the Regional Universities/North category at #122, a steep drop from last year's #105.

The state's public college posted only medium-level assessments according to US News. RIC's best performance in the category was for faculty resources, where it ranked #98 overall.

ART SCHOOLS CATEGORY

Rhode Island School of Design

Included but unranked overall in US News' Art Schools category, RISD posts high marks in numerous assessments in 2012: a 95% average freshman retention rate, an 88% 6-year graduation rate, and 75% of classes having 20 or fewer students. RISD also got a "high" assessment for 35% of its freshmen coming from the top 10% of their high school classes.

For more information on how US News and World Reports assesses and ranks schools, go here.

 

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