Lee University Surges In 2020 U.S. News Best Colleges

Tuesday, September 10, 2019
From left, Lee students Abigail Smith, Val Berger and Annalissa Neely
From left, Lee students Abigail Smith, Val Berger and Annalissa Neely

Lee University has been ranked once again in the upper echelon of Southern universities in the 2020 U.S. News and World Report’s Best Colleges, said officials.

This year Lee moved up 13 spots within the top 50 “Best Regional Universities” category. Lee was ranked at #34 out of 132 Southern universities, which included both public and private. The ranked schools are evaluated in up to 15 areas related to academic excellence such as graduation rate, peer-assessment, freshman retention rate, student-faculty ratio, and acceptance rate.

“It’s rewarding to be in such good company again this year,” said Lee President Paul Conn, “and the jump in ranking is doubly welcome, as it recognizes the efforts we make to keep improving the Lee experience.”

In addition to the main ranking, Lee appears in four specialty rankings this year. These include “A+ Schools for B Students,” the “Best Value Schools” listing, “Best Colleges for Veterans,” and “Best Colleges for Undergraduate Teaching.”

To judge the level of quality at each of the schools on the “A-plus Schools for B Students” list, U.S. News first examined two variables: the schools performance in the 2020 edition of the Best Colleges rankings and the average freshman retention rate. Schools had to bring an average of 75 percent of their freshmen back the following fall, as well as admit a significant proportion of students who were not straight A students in high school.

To determine which colleges met the “Best Value Schools” criteria, academic quality and cost were both considered. School rankings were determined by the ratio of school’s quality to price, the percentage of need-based students who received scholarships and grants, and the percentage of the school costs, such as room and board, fees, and books that were covered by the average need-based scholarship or grant.

The “Best Colleges for Veterans” ranking is awarded to schools that reported on their enrollment of and benefits for veterans and active-duty service members as part of the U.S. News’ annual statistical survey of undergraduate schools. These rankings only include schools in the 2020-edition of the U.S. News rankings that meet the criteria.

The Best Undergraduate Teaching list, organized by the U.S. News ranking categories, contain the colleges that received the most nominations by top college officials in the spring of 2019 survey for having an especially strong commitment to undergraduate teaching. They are ranked in descending order based on the number of top-15 nominations they received. Schools had to receive seven or more nominations to be listed.

U.S. News has been ranking colleges for 35 years and continues to be a closely watched college ranking. The magazine reviewed over 1,000 colleges and universities nationwide for the 2020 annual issue.

For more information and a list of rankings, visit https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges.



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