The University of Mary Washington has been recognized among the nation’s top schools by U.S. News & World Report, which released its 2022 “Best Colleges” list today.
UMW ranked seventh among public regional universities in the South and 19th among all regional universities in the South. Within the same category, the University also was rated sixth among best colleges for veterans, and earned spots on the publication’s lists of best undergraduate business and nursing programs. Mary Washington is also included in the “Top Performers on Social Mobility” roster, which looks at schools with economically disadvantaged students.
Now in its 37th year, the U.S. News rankings evaluate more than 1,400 colleges and universities on academic quality using several metrics, with the greatest emphasis placed on outcomes. Schools’ ability to retain and graduate students from different socioeconomic backgrounds and graduates’ average indebtedness are considered, along with class size, undergraduate academic reputation, and investment in instruction and student services.
“Shaken by the coronavirus pandemic, many American families have been thrust into uncertain times. But one thing the pandemic and resulting economic shake-up made clear is that higher education pays off,” the guide states, citing the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ finding that workers over 25 with at least a bachelor’s degree have claimed the lowest unemployment rates since the pandemic began.
Regional – as opposed to national – universities across the country, with a full range of undergraduate programs and some master’s programs but few doctoral programs, were ranked in four geographical groups, North, South, Midwest and West.
The “Top Public Schools” category includes the highest ranked public institutions, from small liberal arts colleges like Mary Washington to large research institutions, which are typically governed and funded by the state. The “Best Colleges for Veterans” ranking is for schools that award federal financial aid specific to veterans and active service members, and enroll a critical mass of such students.
The undergraduate business program rankings illustrate a peer-reviewed distinction only for AACSB-accredited programs. New this year, the undergraduate nursing program roster was based on feedback from deans and senior faculty at schools that offer a bachelor of science in nursing degree. “This additional ranking arrives amid a surge of interest in the health fields and enrollment in nursing programs ticking up in 2020,” the guide states.
The “Top Performers on Social Mobility” category considers colleges that enrolled and graduated a sizable percentage of economically disadvantaged students who received federal Pell Grants.
For the full list of U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges rankings, visit usnews.com/best-colleges.