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U.S. News: W&M best public university for undergraduate teaching

  • Committed to teaching
    Committed to teaching  On a ranking of colleges with a "strong commitment to undergraduate teaching," W&M moved up three spots and is the top public institution and tied for third overall, surpassed only by Dartmouth College and Princeton University.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
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University also improves in overall national ranking of public and private schools

William & Mary is more committed to undergraduate teaching than any other public university or college in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report.

The magazine released its annual ranking of colleges today, and William & Mary has once again been counted among the nation’s best.

Among all national universities – both private and public – William & Mary improved one spot to a tie for 32nd. The university remained the sixth best public institution in the country. On a ranking of colleges with a “strong commitment to undergraduate teaching,” W&M moved up three spots and is the top public institution and tied for third overall, surpassed only by Dartmouth College and Princeton University.

 “While these rankings never capture the true excellence of William & Mary, it’s always satisfying to see them move in a positive direction, as they did this time around,” said President Taylor Reveley.  “It remains amazing that William & Mary achieves such an extraordinary high level of quality with such a modest set of financial resources, as these ranking make clear.”

The university again fared well in a U.S. News ranking created from feedback by high school counselors. In that listing, William & Mary is tied with eight schools – including the University of Virginia – for 21st. Last year, the university was ranked in a tie for 22nd by high school counselors. The U.S News ranking also highlights William & Mary as the most efficient in the country. According to the U.S. News ranking, W&M’s financial resources ranking fell from 112th last year to 114th this year. The 82-spot gap between overall quality and financial resources is by far the largest among the national top 50. However, William & Mary’s alumni giving rank is among the best in the country for a public university, improving from 33rd a year ago to 29th in the latest ranking.

U.S. News ranks colleges and universities according to their scores in several categories, including graduation rates, class sizes, freshman retention rates and alumni contributions. In this year’s ranking, Princeton University takes the top spot among national universities, and the University of California-Berkeley (tied for 20th overall) is the top public institution.

Today’s report by U.S. News is the latest in a string of recent rankings that have highlighted William & Mary’s commitment to excellence.

In August, the university was ranked 36th among national universities by Washington Monthly, which looks at several factors, including how many Ph.D. students schools produce. W&M has the highest percentage of students who have gone on to earn doctorates of any public university in the nation, according to data from the National Science Foundation.

In July, William & Mary was included in Forbes’ annual “America’s Top Colleges” report. The university ranked 44th overall and sixth among public institutions, excluding military academies. The ranking garnered praise for the university from Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, who said, “Virginia’s higher education system is one of the best in the nation and the world. I congratulate the University of Virginia and the College of William & Mary for once again proving to be leaders among our nation’s public non-service academy colleges.”

In March, U.S. News’ ranking of graduate schools was released, in which the W&M School of Education leaped 11 spots from the previous year to be ranked 32nd in the nation. The Law School was ranked 33rd (up two spots from the year before), and the Mason School of Business ranked 70th among graduate business programs. The university’s doctoral program in U.S. colonial history – ranked every four years by U.S. News – came in at third, up one spot from the 2010 survey.

In February, W&M was ranked the fourth “best value” public institution in the country by the Princeton Review. That ranking was also acknowledged by Gov. McDonnell and was featured on NBC’s Today show.