News & Events
MHU Ranked 30th by U.S. News
Mars Hill University has ranked 30th among the top 100 regional colleges in the South on the U.S. News and World Report 2014 “American’s Best Colleges” rankings, which were released today.
Mars Hill tied for 30th place, with Aquinas College (TN), Barton College (NC), and North Greenville University (SC). The 2014 ranking is up one place from last year, when Mars Hill ranked 31st among regional colleges in the South. In 2012, Mars Hill ranked 35th on that same listing.
Prior to the 2012 rankings, Mars Hill was ranked in the Baccalaureate Colleges in the South category, ranking 29th in 2011 and 36th in 2010. Mars Hill has placed in the U.S. News rankings for ten years now.
President Dan Lunsford said that the ranking shows that Mars Hill University is in good company with other quality institutions. “Mars Hill is pleased to be among those top tier institutions that are widely recognized as delivering a quality undergraduate experience,” he said.
Lunsford said he sees Mars Hill’s improving rank as outside affirmation of the sense of excitement and progress that has seemed to permeate the campus in recent months and even years.
“Those of us who are part of the university have experienced the enthusiasm of our continuing evolution into the university era, and we have anecdotal as well as statistical evidence of growth and improvement on several fronts,” he said. “Some of those areas, such as freshman retention and graduation rates – figure prominently into the U.S. News assessment. This is a period of growth for Mars Hill that I firmly believe will continue, and will continue to be reflected in this and other measures of our success.”
Over the past two decades, U.S. News says its “America’s Best Colleges” ranking has grown to be one of the most comprehensive research tools for students and parents considering higher education opportunities. School groupings are based on the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s highly respected Basic Classification.
Under that classification, Regional Colleges “focus almost entirely on the undergraduate experience and offer a broad range of programs in the liberal arts (which account for fewer than half of all bachelor’s degrees granted)….” Most of the institutions in the category draw heavily from nearby states, and so they are ranked by region.
According to usnews.com, the magazine compiles the rankings by gathering data from each college on up to 16 indicators of academic excellence. Each factor is assigned a weight that reflects U.S. News’ assessment of how much that measure matters.
Among the factors considered are peer assessment, average freshman retention rate, graduation rate, class size, acceptance rate, SAT/ACT rankings of accepted students, and average alumni giving rate.