The U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges 2017 edition was released last week. In these rankings, Sewanee moved up one place to #47 this year among the nation’s 239 national liberal arts colleges; other institutional categories include national universities, regional universities, and regional colleges.
The University is tied in the ranking this year with Franklin and Marshall College.
U.S. News primarily ranks institutions based on reputation (peer assessment) and inputs (data regarding each freshman class, university financial resources, etc.), rather than on outcomes.
Notable improved scores this year were:
- Sewanee’s high school counselor assessment score (4.2 on a 5-point scale, up from 4.1—this placed Sewanee #29 on the separate Counselors’ Top Picks list)
- Faculty resources rank (23, up from 47 last year)
- The faculty resources rank counts for 20 percent of the total score; class size and faculty salary are the largest factors in this ranking. This might be the largest contributor to Sewanee’s moving up one place overall.
- Sewanee’s proportion of classes with fewer than 20 students has increased.
The data used by U.S. News was reported in various years. For example, the selectivity score is based on last fall’s freshman class, the first-year retention rate is a four-year average, and alumni giving data is based on the 2013-14 and 2014-15 fiscal years.