U.S. News Again Lists OBU as State’s Best

For the 17th 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 2011 ratings, released Aug. 17, OBU is ranked second in the West.

OBU has made the news magazine's "top 10" in its category for 19 consecutive years. In the 2011 rankings, the United States Air Force Academy, in Colorado Springs, Colo., is first in the 15-state region. The Master's College and Seminary in Santa Clarita, Calif., tied OBU for the second-place ranking.

The exclusive rankings, which include more than 1,400 schools nationwide, are available today at
www.usnews.com/colleges. They also will be published in the September issue of the U.S.News & World Report magazine, on newsstands starting Aug. 31.

"We appreciate the national recognition which accompanies the U.S. News listing," said OBU President David W. Whitlock. "The continued high ranking is a tribute to the faculty, staff and students of OBU who work together to create an outstanding learning environment. During our Centennial year, this is a great reminder that the vision of our founders continues to be upheld on our campus."

Over the past two decades, the U.S. News college rankings, which group schools based on categories created by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, has grown to be the most comprehensive research tool for students and parents considering higher education opportunities.

"The U.S. News rankings are one of many tools students and their families use to assess quality," said Bruce Perkins, OBU director of admissions. "From our perspective, the lives of our graduates continue to be the best example of OBU's educational product. If consistent high rankings attract attention to our institution, we hope that prospective students will look closely and realize that our alumni have used their OBU degrees to build lives of leadership and service."

Other Oklahoma institutions listed in the Baccalaureate Colleges category Top 15 included Oklahoma Wesleyan University, ranked sixth, and the University of Sciences and Arts of Oklahoma, tied for 14th with McMurry University in Texas. 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. News gathers 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,

The 2011 Best Colleges package examines how more than 1,400 accredited four-year schools compare on a set of up to 16 "indicators of excellence." Among the factors weighed in determining the rankings are: peer assessment (25 percent), graduation and retention rates (25 percent), faculty resources (20 percent), student selectivity (15 percent), financial resources (10 percent), and alumni giving (5 percent). U.S. News has made some significant changes to the 2011 Best Colleges' ranking methodology and presentation. For more details on these changes, go to www.usnews.com/collegemeth.