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W&M remains a top university in latest U.S. News undergraduate ranking

  • A top university
    A top university  William & Mary remains one of the top universities in the nation – and one of the best for undergraduate teaching -- according to rankings released by U.S. News & World Report.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
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Despite financial resources that continue to lag behind its national peers, William & Mary remains one of the top universities in the nation – and one of the best for undergraduate teaching -- according to rankings released by U.S. News & World Report today.

In the magazine’s “Best Colleges 2013” guidebook, William & Mary is tied for 33rd among national universities and is sixth among public institutions. The magazine once again recognized W&M as one of the nation’s top schools for “its commitment to undergraduate teaching” and also as one of the top college picks by high school counselors.

William & Mary, which also ranked 33rd among national universities and sixth among publics last year, received an overall score of 69 in this year’s rankings, tying with the University of Rochester and Brandeis University. That score remained unchanged from last year, even though W&M’s financial resources ranking fell from 97th last year to 112th this year. The 79-spot gap between overall quality and financial resources is by far the largest among the national top 50.

“William & Mary keeps doing more with limited financial resources than any other leading university in the country,” said President Taylor Reveley. “It’s amazing that we have been able to maintain our overall ranking despite this financial reality.  It’s a testament to the quality of the people and their work at W&M.”

William & Mary improved in other aspects of the rankings. On the report’s ranking of colleges committed to undergraduate teaching, William & Mary moved up this year to a tie for sixth with the University of Michigan. That is up from a tie for eighth last year and puts W&M ahead of other top-10 “teaching” schools such as Duke University and the University of California-Berkeley, among others. On the list of high school counselors’ picks, the university once again moved up, from a tie for 26th last year to 22nd this year, tied with several other schools including the University of Virginia. The Mason School of Business also moved up and was ranked tied for 40th, up from 41st last year, in the category of best undergraduate business programs.

As part of its annual guidebook, U.S. News annually ranks colleges and universities in several categories based on criteria such as graduation rates, class sizes, academic reputation, freshmen retention rates and alumni contributions. Private universities once again dominated the top of the national rankings this year, with no public university cracking the top 20. Harvard and Princeton tied for the top spot followed by Yale and Columbia at third and fourth. The highest-ranked public university on the national list is the University of California-Berkeley, which is tied for 21st with Georgetown University.

The release of the U.S. News report comes on the heels of several other national college rankings. In August, W&M was included in The Princeton Review’s “The Best 377 Colleges: 2013 Edition,” making the report’s “Top 10 Best Value Public Colleges” listing. William & Mary was also included in Forbes Magazine’s “America’s Top Colleges” guide in August, ranking at fourth among the country’s public universities (including military institutions) and 40th overall.

For more information on the U.S. News rankings, visit The magazine issue hits newsstands Sept. 18.