On September 13, U.S. News and World Report released its annual list of the nation’s top universities for the upcoming year of 2022. The U.S News Best Colleges List is now in its 37th year, and it evaluates more than 14,000 universities in more than 17 categories of academic quality.
This year, Villanova landed on the best colleges list, placing 49th out of 391 national universities.
According to U.S. News, “Schools are ranked according to their performance across a set of widely accepted indicators of excellence.” The ranking factors include graduation and retention rates, social mobility, graduation rate performance, undergraduate academic reputation, faculty resources for 2020-2021 academic year, student selectivity for the fall 2020 entering class, financial resources per student, average alumni giving rate and graduate indebtedness. Each of these ranking rates are given a certain percentage, and together the rates add up to 100%. The percentage out of 100 that each school is granted helps in determining their ranking on the list.
The mission of the list, according to U.S. News, itself is to provide “expert advice, rankings and data to help you navigate your education journey and find the best college for you.” The list is designed to help prospective students and their families find the best fitting school to continue their higher education.
“Students and faculty continue to feel the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, whether it's through remote learning, mask-wearing or vaccine requirements," said Kim Castro, editor and chief content officer of U.S. News. "As communities work through these challenges, U.S. News is committed to providing information on the academic quality of institutions across the country, so prospective students and their families can make informed decisions throughout their college search.”
The National Universities category that the University falls under is identified as “Schools in the National Universities category offer a full range of undergraduate majors, plus master's and Ph.D. programs.”
The University being placed in the top 50 on this list has huge positive implications for Villanova and its future. Being included in the list is a huge honor, but placing in the top 50 is even more impressive. Since first being featured on the list, undergraduate applications have gone up by 15 percent. University students played a huge role in the factoring of the ranking of the school. Students at the University have consistently earned very prestigious and honorable awards and national scholarships, such as the Fulbright U.S. Student Grant. According to a University press release, 98 Villanovans have been presented with this award since 2016.
The class of 2020 has been applauded by the University for its very high and admirable placement rate of 91.8 percent post-graduation. Because of the University’s reputation for success, newly graduated students of the University are highly sought after by competitive graduate schools and top companies and employers. In a press release by the University, the top 50 ranking is celebrated in saying, “Villanova’s inclusion (#49) among the nation’s best colleges and universities is indication of the University’s continued prominence and forward momentum.” The high ranking and prestigious spot on the list of top colleges leaves Villanovans with much to be proud of and even more to celebrate.