August 20, 2009
For the 16th consecutive year, Oklahoma Baptist University has been listed as Oklahoma's highest-rated baccalaureate college in U.S.News & World Report's annual ranking of "America's Best Colleges." In the 2010 ratings, released Aug. 20, OBU is ranked second in the West.
In addition to the ranking for overall academic quality, OBU ranked third in the magazine's "Great Schools, Great Prices" category for the western region.
OBU has made the news magazine's "top 10" in its category for 18 consecutive years. In the 2010 rankings, the United States Air Force Academy, in Colorado Springs, Colo., is first in the 15-state region.
The "Great Schools, Great Prices" listing is derived from a formula which "relates a school's academic quality, as indicated by its U.S. News ranking, to the net cost of attendance for a student who receives the average level of need-based financial aid. The higher the quality of the program and the lower the cost, the better the deal," according to a release from the national news magazine.
"The U.S. News rankings continue to affirm the quality education offered at OBU, as well as the hard work exhibited by the faculty, staff and students on Bison Hill," said OBU President David W. Whitlock. "We appreciate the national recognition which complements the standards of excellence we seek to uphold and even raise."
The exclusive rankings, which include more than 1,400 schools nationwide, are available today at www.usnews.com/colleges. They will also be published in the September issue of the U.S.News & World Report magazine, on newsstands starting Aug. 20.
Other Oklahoma institutions listed in the Baccalaureate Colleges category Top 15 included Oklahoma Wesleyan University, ranked ninth, and the University of Sciences and Arts of Oklahoma, tied for 14th with three other institutions. For the rankings, U.S. News describes baccalaureate colleges as institutions which "focus on undergraduate education and offer a range of degree programs - in the liberal arts, which account for fewer than half of their bachelor's degrees, and in professional fields such as business, nursing and education." A total of 319 colleges are included in the baccalaureate category for four regions: North, South, Midwest and West.
According to information provided by U.S. News, the rankings system rests on two pillars. It relies on quantitative measures which education experts have proposed as reliable indicators of academic quality, and on the magazine's nonpartisan view of "what matters in education." First, schools are categorized by mission. Next, U.S. Newsgathers data from each college for up to 15 indicators of academic excellence. Each factor is assigned a weight that reflects the magazine's judgment about how much a measure matters. Finally, the colleges in each category are ranked against their peers, based on their composite weighted score. (A more detailed explanation is available on the U.S. News Web site, http://www.usnews.com/.)
The U.S. Newsrankings for baccalaureate colleges are based on seven categories: peer assessment (25 percent), graduation and retention rates (20 percent), faculty resources (20 percent), student selectivity (15 percent), financial resources (10 percent), graduation rate performance (5 percent) and alumni giving (5 percent). Among the top 10 schools in the region, OBU ranked third in average graduation rate.
For more information about America's Best Colleges, visit www.usnews.com/colleges.