Villanova finishes on top, for the 21st consecutive year.  The University has been ranked as the No. 1 Regional University—North category of the U.S. News & World Report’s annual “America’s Best Colleges” rankings. Continuing yet another year of excellence, the University again out-ranked rival institutions such as Providence College, Fairfield University, Bentley University, College of New Jersey, Loyola University Maryland, Rochester Institute of Technology and many others. Hitting newsstands on Sept. 24, the annual “America’s Best Colleges” report has a significant impact on applications to the colleges ranked at the top.

As explained by the U.S. News & World Report, a strict selection process ensures that only the best and the brightest make it to the head of their lists.  Villanova is currently ranked as a regional university, defined by U.S. News as those that “offer a full range of undergrad programs and some master’s programs but few doctoral programs.”

These reports not only affect the current University community, but also thousands of eager high school seniors anxiously completing their college applications. Not only does the University fare exceptionally well in this category, but also received the honor as the No. 2 spot on the Regional University—North category for “Great Schools, Great Prices” by U.S. News.  This ranking is determined by a school’s academic quality in relation to the net cost of attendance for a student who receives the average level of need-based financial aid.  According to U.S. News, “the higher the quality of the program and the lower the cost, the better the deal.” 

Additionally, the University’s College of Engineering received recognition as the No. 13 “Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs” category among schools whose highest degree is a bachelors or masters. This section of the ranking lists undergraduate programs accredited by ABET, formerly known as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, according to the strength of their academic reputation. 

“When looking at the great variety of ranking measures required by the U.S. News evaluation, the University performs quite well in nearly all of them,” said Stephen Merritt, dean of enrollment management. “To have such a well-rounded position is, in my view, what makes Villanova a special institution and worthy of this recognition.” 

Villanova fares particularly well in the student opinion area, Merritt said, which is one of the reasons Villanova has been chosen as the No. 1 pick for 21 consecutive years.

“Clearly, there are a number of things the University is doing right according to the survey,” Merritt said. “I particularly like that in our category we have the highest peer assessment score of anyone on the list.” 

Merritt sees bright things in the future for University in relation to the rankings, but also in student life in general.  

“With the University currently in a strategic planning and implementation process, we are constantly looking for ways to make the University more appealing and attractive to those looking to attend a private college or university,” he said. “This process will, in the future, help candidates and their families see Villanova as the distinctive, national university it truly is.”


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