Campbell climbs in U.S. News & World Report’s annual ‘Best Colleges’ ranking

Campbell University climbed three spots as a top regional university in the 2018 U.S. News & World Report Best College rankings list, released today. Campbell now ranks 27th out of 149 regional universities and colleges in the South.

The U.S. News rankings methodology focuses on academic excellence, with schools evaluated on hundreds of data points and up to 15 measures of academic quality. Overall, the rankings emphasize student outcomes — such as graduation and freshman retention rates — which carry the most weight at 30 percent. Other qualities taken into account include peer assessment, faculty resources, admissions selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving and graduation rate performance (the proportion of students expected to graduate and the proportion who do).

“The U.S. News & World Report rankings are a measure by which consumers are able to place some tangible value on the college or university with which they are affiliated,” Campbell President J. Bradley Creed said. “Of nearly 150 regional universities in the South, we are honored to be included at No. 27, well within the top 20 percent of all universities in this part of the country.”

Campbell also ranks as the 19th-best college for veterans in the south, a list that recognizes schools that participate in federal initiatives helping veterans and active-duty service members pay for their degrees. It ranks in the top half of U.S. News’ list of Best Value Schools, which takes into account academic quality and the net cost of attendance for a student who received the average level of need-based financial aid.

Brian Kelly, editor and chief content officer of U.S. News, said prospective students and their families should research a school’s graduation and retention rates, as they are “important indicators of how well a school supports its students both academically and financially.”

“Colleges that saddle students with debt but do little to support them through graduation are contributing to a vicious cycle,” he said. “Without that valuable degree, students will have a difficult time landing well-paying jobs and repaying their loans, which puts them in a precarious financial situation early on in their careers.”

Vice President for Student Life Dennis Bazemore said preparing students “for a lifetime” is very much a part of Campbell’s mission. 

“From our first-year freshman seminar through graduation,” he said.“Campbell offers a holistic approach to help our students prepare for meaningful careers and lives of service to others.”

To see the entire Best Colleges list and see where Campbell ranks, visit