Catawba scores high in national ranking

SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - Catawba College continues to be included among the nation's Best Regional Colleges, according to the 2015 edition of "Best Colleges," published by U.S. News & World Report and released.

Catawba is ranked 16th among 97 of these Best Regional Colleges in the South, climbing up a position from its 17th ranking in this category in the 2014 edition.

In total, 364 colleges are ranked as "Best Regional Colleges" according to geographic region (North, South, Midwest, and West).  Highlights of these rankings are published in the magazine available this month on newsstands and available online  The publication offers rankings and data on nearly 1,800 schools,

In recent years, Catawba has consistently placed in the U.S. News rankings. According to U.S. News, Regional Colleges "focus almost entirely on 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) and in fields such as business, nursing, and education."  Most of the Regional Colleges draw heavily from nearby states and grant few graduate degrees.

The U.S. News rankings for Regional Universities and Regional Colleges are based on several key measures of quality with 22.5% weight given to graduation and retention rates, 22.5% given to peer assessment, 20% to faculty resources, 12.5% to student selectivity, 10% to financial resources, 7.5% graduation rate performance, and 5% to alumni giving. Regarding the 7.5% graduation rate, U.S. News calculates the difference between a school's six-year graduation rate for the class that entered in 2006 and the rate they predicted for the class.  If the actual graduation rate is higher than the predicted rate, the college is enhancing achievement.

The weekly national news magazine U.S. News & World Report has been widely recognized for its annual "Best Colleges" edition which marks its 30th year with the publication of the 2015 edition. Founded in 1933, U.S. News & World Report is devoted to reporting and analyzing national and international affairs, politics, business, health, science, technology and social trends.