LaGrange College has been named a leading school in the South, according to annual rankings released today by U.S. News & World Report.
The institution was ranked fifth on this year’s list among 122 Regional Colleges in the South. It is the only regional college in Georgia in the top 20.
In addition, LaGrange was named a “best value,” described by the publication as “a great school at a great price.”
It also earned high marks for undergraduate teaching (tied for fourth) and social mobility (23rd).
“We are thrilled to see our commitment to student success being recognized as one of the best,” said college President Dan McAlexander. “We take seriously our mission to prepare our students to become successful, responsible citizens who aspire to lives of integrity and moral courage – and it’s gratifying to see that acknowledged.”
Factors considered in the top schools ranking include outcomes (graduation and retention rates, and social mobility), faculty resources (class size and faculty salary), expert opinion of peer institution leaders, financial resources, student excellence (standardized test scores and high school class standing) and alumni giving.
In designating a school as a “best value,” the magazine takes into account a school’s academic quality and the net cost of attendance for a student who received the average level of need-based financial aid. Only those schools ranked in the top half of their ranking categories were considered for the best value list.
The best undergraduate teaching rankings focused on “schools where faculty and administrators are committed to teaching undergraduate students in a high-quality manner,” the magazine reported.
College presidents, provosts and admissions deans who participate in an annual peer assessment survey were asked to nominate up to 15 schools in their ranking category with a strength in undergraduate teaching. LaGrange tied with Flagler College in Florida for fourth place. It was the only Georgia school in that designation’s top 10.
New this year, the social mobility list measures how well schools performed in graduating students who received Pell Grants (federal aid reserved for the nation’s neediest students).
Joseph Miller, LaGrange College’s Vice President for Enrollment, said that more than 99 percent of the school’s students receive some form of financial aid, and families are often surprised at the amount they receive.
“The average financial aid package from LaGrange meets about 92 percent of a student’s total need,” he said. “That means that the vast majority of our families are investing about the same amount in a college education as they would at a public institution.”
Georgia’s oldest private institution of higher learning, LaGrange College is consistently ranked among the South’s top colleges by U.S. News & World Report. A four-year liberal arts and sciences college affiliated with the United Methodist Church, LaGrange offers more than 70 areas of study with an emphasis on global engagement and service.