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Forbes ranks W&M among best in the South

A new ranking by lists the College of William & Mary as the second-best public and fifth overall among all colleges and universities in the South.

The ranking, which is a regional listing of Forbes' "Americas Best Colleges" guide released last August, looks at the best public and private schools in 17 southern states and the District of Columbia. Those rankings are based on items such as graduation rate; national and global awards by students and faculty; students' satisfaction with their professors; average debt upon graduation; and postgraduate success.

In the "Best Colleges in the South" listing of the top public schools, the U.S. Naval Academy took the top spot and was followed by William & Mary at second, the New College of Florida (third), the University of Virginia (fourth) and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (fifth). William & Mary and U.Va. were among four public universities from Virginia in the public colleges top 10 list. Others include Virginia Military Institute (sixth), and the University of Mary Washington (eighth).

The magazine also ranked the top 20 colleges in the south among all universities, including public and private schools. In that ranking, William & Mary was listed fifth. Centre College in Kentucky took the top overall spot and was followed by Navy, Washington and Lee University, and Rice University. Other top schools from Virginia include Hampden-Sydney College (sixth overall), U.Va. (11th), Sweet Briar College (14th), and VMI (17th).

In last August's Forbes ranking of all universities across the country, William & Mary was listed as the fourth highest public university - and the top non-military state school. In those rankings, William & Mary was listed 48th overall and 33rd among the magazine's "Best Value" list - making it only one of five schools in the country to make Forbes top 50 list for both quality and value.

The regional listing is now posted with descriptions of each university on the magazine's Web site.