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US News Ranks OBU Second in West for 2004

August 25, 2003

For the 10th consecutive year, Oklahoma Baptist University has received recognition as the top comprehensive college in Oklahoma by the U.S. News & World Report annual rankings of "America's Best Colleges."

OBU is listed second among "Comprehensive Colleges-Bachelor's" for the western region in the 2004 rankings, which will appear in the Sept. 23 issue of U.S. News & World Report.

OBU is ranked second in the category for the third consecutive year. In the 2004 rankings, as in 2002 and 2003, the private liberal arts college in Shawnee is ranked after Linfield College, a private institution in McMinnville, Oregon. It marks the 12th consecutive year for OBU to be ranked in the top-10 for colleges in the West, and the 14th time in 15 years for the university to be listed as one of "America's Best Colleges."

"The U.S. News ranking lends an objective voice to what we at OBU have long believed -- the concept of a strong academic standard in a Christian environment not only can, but should be marked by a high level of quality," said Dr. Mark Brister, OBU president.

The only other Oklahoma institution listed in the Comprehensive Colleges-Bachelor's category Top 10 was Oklahoma Christian University, ranked seventh. Oklahoma Wesleyan University and the University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma were ranked in the second tier (11th through 21st), St. Gregory's University was in the third tier (22nd-30th) and Langston University and Oklahoma Panhandle State were listed in the fourth tier (31st to 40th).

OBU also received the ranking as second in the region for graduation rate. In 2003, a total of 57 percent of OBU students had graduated within six years of their freshman enrollment. That percentage was second to Linfield College, with a graduation rate of 68 percent.

Among colleges in the regional rankings, OBU had the highest percentage of 2002 freshmen who were in the top 25 percent of their high school graduating classes. A total of 68 percent of OBU's freshmen were in the top quarter. The closest school in the region was Linfield, with 55 percent in the top 25 percent of their classes.

"Our reputation for excellence with a Christian world view has resulted in our ability to attract top-notch students who seek to learn from outstanding educators," Brister said.

In the statistical rankings, OBU had the second-highest percentage of faculty serving full-time among the top-10 and Oklahoma colleges in the region. A total of 87 percent of OBU's faculty serve at the university full-time.

OBU's student-faculty ratio of 14/1 ranked third among the region's top 10. OBU also was ranked third in the region in "peer assessment," a category which is based on an academic reputation survey sent to presidents, chief academic officers and admission deans at peer institutions in the region.

Founded in 1910, OBU offers nine bachelor's degrees, with 75 majors. The university's fall 2002 enrollment is approximately 1,850. OBU students are from 38 states and 22 other countries.