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U.S. News: College remains among the nation's best

US News(Williamsburg, VA)—The College of William and Mary remains among the nation’s best universities, according to the 2006 annual rankings of colleges by U.S. News & World Report.

According to the latest edition of magazine, which hits newsstands Monday, William and Mary ranks sixth among public universities and colleges—the same ranking as last year—and tied for 31st among all public and private universities. The College’s overall score of 68 remained the same as in 2005.

The U.S. News rankings were released just a day after Forbes magazine deemed Virginia “The Best State for Business.” The Commonwealth “dominated our rankings,” according to Forbes, in part because of its “highly ranked institutions of higher education,” including William and Mary.

“The College and those who care about it can take pride in our being recognized, once again, among the nation’s best,” said William and Mary President Gene R. Nichol. “The Forbes notice, for a university intent on exploring its public and economic contributions to the fullest, is an equally striking honor. Both are tribute to our surpassing staff, faculty, and students.”

At other Virginia colleges and universities, the University of Virginia is ranked tied for second among the nation’s top public universities and tied for 24th in the U.S. News overall ranking. Virginia Tech is tied for 34th among public universities and 77th among all colleges and universities in the country.

The U.S. News rankings are the second time in recent weeks that William and Mary was included in a list of the nation’s top universities and colleges. In the September issue of Washington Monthly magazine, William and Mary is ranked 19th nationally—the highest ranking of any university in Virginia. The magazine evaluated colleges on the contributions their students make to society and examined areas such as community service, research and social mobility. Data considered includes the number of students serving in ROTC programs and in the Peace Corps; annual research spending; the number of students that continue on to earn a Ph.D.; and the percentage of students on Pell Grants.

U.S. News annually compiles data that ranks colleges and universities, both public and private institutions, in several categories based on criteria such as graduation rates, class sizes, academic reputation, peer assessments, freshmen retention rates, alumni contributions and faculty resources. In addition to the magazine, some of the results will also be available at

William and Mary repeatedly ranks among the nation’s best universities despite consistently ranking poorly in terms of financial resources. According to the annual survey by U.S. News, William and Mary ranks 111th in financial resources—the lowest ranking among the magazine’s top 50 overall universities. However, the financial resources ranking is climbing—William and Mary ranked124th two years ago and 115th in 2005. With a total enrollment of 7,500 students—including 5,600 undergraduates—William and Mary is by far the smallest university listed among the top 10 public universities.