Alderson Broaddus University received recognition this week as the highest-ranking West Virginia college or university in two categories published by U.S. News & World Report.
The school was ranked first among West Virginia colleges overall and 39th among the 2020 "Best Regional Colleges in the South."
The report compares institutions based on performance across a set of widely accepted indicators of excellence, according to Dr. Tim Barry, president of the school.
The 372 regional colleges the report studies—including 168 public institutions, 191 private schools, and 13 for-profits—focus on undergraduate education but grant fewer than 50 percent of their degrees in liberal arts disciplines.
The Regional Colleges category includes some institutions where only a small number of degrees awarded are at a bachelor’s level. Regional colleges are placed into one of four geographic divisions, and Alderson Broaddus falls within the South.
Alderson Broaddus, known colloquially as "AB," was the only West Virginia college named to the "Best Value Schools 2020 Regional Colleges South" category, coming in with an overall ranking of 12.
To determine which colleges and universities offer the best value for students, U.S. News takes into account both academic quality and cost. The rankings assess a school’s academic quality, as indicated by its 2020 U.S. News & World Report ranking, and the 2018-2019 net cost of attendance for a student who received the average level of need-based financial aid.
The higher the quality of the program and the lower the cost, the better the deal. Only schools ranked in or near the top half of their categories are included because U.S. News considered the most significant values to be among colleges that are above average academically.
“At AB, we are living out our mission,” Berry said of the accolades.
“Being ranked as one of the top schools in West Virginia by U.S. News & World Report is one indication, among many, that our commitment to the mission of AB is working.
"We take pride in providing the highest quality education to our students and preparing them to succeed in their chosen fields. Our number one focus is and will always be our students.”
Additionally, U.S. News has added a new ranking, "Top Performers on Social Mobility" to the 2020 report.
Regionally, Alderson Broaddus ranked in the top 50 of all colleges and universities included in the social mobility report, coming in with an overall rank of 36.
The social mobility ranking evaluates which higher education institutions best serve underrepresented students based on two ranking factors: Pell Grant graduation rate and Pell Grant graduation rate performance.
“The latest rankings are indicative of our legacy of celebrating scholarship and community,” Barry said.