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Duke and UNC earn top rankings by US News. Here’s where other NC universities stand.

The Charlotte Observer logo The Charlotte Observer 9/13/2022 Kate Murphy, The Charlotte Observer

Several North Carolina colleges and universities ranked among the country’s best in the U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings released Monday.

Prospective students, parents and school counselors use the rankings as a guide in making college choices. The 2022-23 report evaluates 1,500 colleges and universities on up to 17 measures of academic quality, including graduation rates, student debt, faculty and instruction.

Duke University took the top ranking for North Carolina universities at 10th overall. UNC-Chapel Hill is the highest-ranked public university in the state and 5th highest public university nationwide. UNC-CH topped Duke in the best value category at 15th overall.

The full list of rankings is available on U.S. News & World Report’s website.

National Universities

Duke University ranked 10th overall in a tie with Northwestern and 16th for best value. The average cost for a student after scholarships and aid is $27,393 per year. Duke is also listed among schools with graduates who have low debt. Nearly 20% of first-year students take out federal loans and the median federal loan debt among graduates is $13,500.

Duke has the top engineering and nursing programs in the state, according to the rankings: the undergraduate nursing program ranked 3rd in the country; its computer science program ranked 24th; and Duke’s engineering program is 16th among schools with doctorate programs.

The university ranked 13th for most innovative and 11th for undergraduate teaching among its peers.

Duke is also recognized for its special programs at 5th for internships, 4th for service learning, 8th for undergraduate research and 9th for writing in the disciplines.

UNC-Chapel Hill ranked 29th overall, tied with the University of Florida and Wake Forest University. UNC-CH earned 5th among public universities in another tie with UF. The university ranked 15th for best value, with the average cost for a student after scholarships and aid at $20,933.

UNC-CH is also listed among schools with graduates who have low debt. About a quarter of first-year students take out federal loans and the median federal loan debt among graduates is $14,500.

UNC-CH’s undergraduate nursing program is its highest-rated program at 5th overall. The Kenan-Flagler School of Business has the highest ranked undergraduate business program in the state. It ranked 8th among its peers, with top 10 rankings for entrepreneurship, management, marketing and real estate.

The university is ranked 12th best nationally for veterans and 66th for undergraduate teaching, tied with UNC-Charlotte.

UNC-CH’s computer science program ranked 24th, tied with Duke’s, and the university’s engineering program ranked 61st among schools with doctorate programs.

Wake Forest University ranked 29th overall, tied with UNC-CH and UF, and 23rd for best value. Wake is ranked 21st for undergraduate teaching and its business program ranked 39th overall.

▪ NC State Universityranked 72nd overall and 29th among public universities. NCSU ranked 66th in the best value category and 41st for veterans.

NCSU’s highest-rated program is its engineering program at 33rd among schools with doctorate programs and its agricultural engineering program ranked 6th. NC State’s business program in the Poole College of Management ranked 73rd and the computer science ranked 54th.

▪ Elon Universityranked 89th overall and 144th for best value. Elon earned the top ranking for undergraduate teaching nationally and 6th for most innovative.

Elon’s undergraduate business program ranked 108th overall, tied with UNC Charlotte.

Elon earned top 5 rankings for several unique programs including first-year experience, learning communities, service learning and study abroad, plus top 10 rankings for internships and undergraduate research.

UNC Wilmington ranked 202nd overall and 103rd among public universities.

▪ UNC Charlotteranked 219th and 112th among public universities, tied with UNC Greensboro. UNCC’s nursing program ranked 67th in a tie with UNC Greensboro and East Carolina University. UNCC was also recognized for undergraduate teaching, ranking 66th in a tie with UNC-CH.

UNCC’s undergraduate business program ranked 108th overall, tied with Elon.

▪ UNC Greensbororanked 219th and 112th among public universities, tied with UNCC. UNCG’s nursing program ranked 67th overall in a tie with UNCC and ECU. UNC Greensboro was also recognized for its undergraduate teaching at 54th nationally and it ranked 18th for social mobility in a tie with Winston-Salem State University.

East Carolina University ranked 234th overall and 118th among public universities. ECU’s engineering program ranked 70th among schools with no doctorate program. ECU’s nursing program ranked 67th nationally, tied with UNCC and UNCG.

Western Carolina University moved up from regional universities into the national universities category this year. WCU ranked 263rd overall and 132nd among public universities.

Winston-Salem State University, an historically Black university, moved up from regional universities into the national universities category this year. WSSU ranked 285th overall and 146th among public universities. Winston-Salem State ranked 18th for social mobility, in a tie with UNCG, and was named a top 10 school for economic diversity among peers.

WSSU ranked 19th overall among HBCUs.

Campbell Universityranked 299th overall.

North Carolina A&T State University, an HBCU, also ranked 299th overall and 156th among public universities. NC A&T is the top-ranked HBCU in North Carolina, 9th nationally and 3rd best public HBCU in the country. The university also ranked 41st for social mobility.

Elon, UNCC and UNCW were also named A+ schools for B students. That means those universities ranked in the top 75% of their peers, admitted a meaningful proportion of students who didn’t get straight A’s in high school and had a high retention rate among first-year students, which is an indicator of student satisfaction, according to U.S. News.

Regional Universities in the South

Appalachian State University ranked 6th overall, tied with Tuskeegee University, and 3rd among public universities. App State ranked 32nd for best value. ASU is the most innovative university among its peers and ranked 2nd for veterans and 2nd for undergraduate teaching.

North Carolina Central University, an HBCU, ranked 46th overall and 18th among public universities. NC Central ranked 44th for best value and 10th for social mobility. NCCU is listed among schools with graduates who have high debt, with more than 80% of first-year students taking out federal loans and the median federal loan debt among graduates being $29,000.

NCCU ranked 14th overall among HBCUs and a top 5 public HBCU.

UNC Pembrokeranked 56th overall and 22nd among public universities. UNCP ranked 50th for best value, 11th for most innovative, 13th for social mobility, 26th for veterans and is recognized as the top school for ethnic diversity among its peers.

Methodist Universityranked 70th overall.

Fayetteville State University, an HBCU, ranked 72nd overall and 33rd among public universities. FSU ranked 31st among HBCUs and 19th for social mobility.

Queens University of Charlotte ranked 9th overall.

National Liberal Arts Colleges

Davidson College ranked 15th overall and 10th for best value. Davidson is listed among schools with graduates who have low debt with 15% of first-year students taking out federal loans and the median federal loan debt among graduates is $19,500. Davidson ranked 3rd for undergraduate teaching and 9th for most innovative.

Meredith College ranked 130th overall.

UNC Ashevilleranked 136th overall and 8th among public schools.

Best Regional Colleges in the South

High Point Universityranked 1st overall and most innovative among its peers, though it was the only school listed in that category. HPU also ranked 24th for best value and 2nd for undergraduate teaching.

William Peace University ranked 29th overall and 29th for best value.

Elizabeth City State University, an HBCU, ranked 31st overall, 3rd among public schools and 23rd among HBCUs. ECSU also ranked 18th for social mobility and 4th for veterans among its peers.

Shaw University and Saint Augustine’s University, both HBCUs in Raleigh, ranked in the top 100 overall. They were both listed among schools with graduates who have high debt. About 90% of first-year students take out federal loans and the median federal loan debt among graduates is $31,000.

How does US News come up with these rankings?

The U.S. News rankings are mostly based on student outcomes, including student debt, graduation rates and retention rates. Faculty resources are also factored in, which includes class size, student-faculty ratio, number of full-time faculty and faculty salaries.

The rankings are also based on the opinions of presidents, provosts and admissions deans of peer institutions through surveys. Other factors include an institution’s instructional and research spending, student academic profiles and alumni giving.

Schools are also ranked among their peers.

National universities: Schools in the national universities category offer a full range of undergraduate majors, plus master’s and Ph.D. programs, according to U.S. News.

Liberal arts colleges: Liberal arts colleges emphasize undergraduate education and award at least half of their degrees in the liberal arts fields of study, according to U.S. News.

Regional universities:Regional universities offer a full range of undergraduate programs and some master’s programs but few doctoral programs, according to U.S. News. The four regions are North, South, Midwest and West.

Regional colleges:These colleges focus on undergraduate education but grant fewer than half their degrees in liberal arts disciplines, according to U.S. News. The four regions are North, South, Midwest and West.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities:HBCUs were separately compared only with one another for these rankings and must be currently designated by the U.S. Department of Education as an HBCU to qualify, according to U.S. News.

©2022 The Charlotte Observer. Visit charlotteobserver.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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