NEW: US News Names Best Colleges 2013—How Did the Locals Do?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


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They're finally here. US News' 2013 Best Colleges rankings of 1,600 schools nationwide have arrived this morning with customary obsessive attention nationwide.

There were few surprises at the top of the heap. Harvard and Princeton Universities once again tied for the #1 slot among the nation's National Universities, and Williams College in MA held on to its spot as #1 in Liberal Arts Colleges.

How did Rhode Island's universities and colleges do?


Brown University

Rhode Island's Ivy League University mainted its #15 ranking for the third year in a row among National Universities, tying this year with fellow Ivy Cornell University.  Brown was also named the #14 Best Value National University in 2013, moving up one spot from its #15 ranking in 2012. with 41.9% of its student body receiving need-based grants, representing a 63% discount of total cost of attendance.

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Brown University holds on to its #15 ranking for 2013, tied with fellow Ivy League school Cornell University.

Brown got high marks on numerous assessments in the US News rankings: it ranked #4 in the nation for best undergraduate teaching, and ranked #9 in high school counselor rankings. A high average freshman retention rate of 98% and a six-year graduation rate of 95%,which combined to put Brown at #6 in the nation for graduation and retention, the same ranking it held in 2012. Brown also received high marks for its number of classes with under 20 students (70.3%).

When it comes to faculty, Brown performed in the top echelon of the nation with a #18 ranking nationally for faculty resources (moving up 2 spots from last year), and was credited for 93.7% of faculty being full-time.

It may be no surprise that 91% of Brown's freshmen were in the top 10 percent of their high school classes, another high ranking for the university. Finally, Brown's average alumni giving rate of 37% placed it at #4 nationally, a move up of 2 spots from 2012.

Finally, high school counselors gave Brown a 4.8 out of 5 score... no wonder the Fall 2011 acceptance rate was just 8.9%.

University of Rhode Island

The state's public university jumped 13 spots to take the #147 spot in US News' National Universities rankings, and has now risen 20 spots in two years from its 2011 ranking at #167.

URI's best performance this year was for graduate and retention, ranking #143, with an average freshman retention rate of 80% and a 51% graduation rate. The university ranked #160 for financial resources and #201 for alumni giving.


Providence College

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Providence College also hangs on to its #4 spot among Regional Universities/North, and is named a Top 5 Value as well.

Ranked in US News'  Regional Universities/North category, Providence College hangs on to its #4 ranking overall for the second year in a row. The college was also named #5 best value for its group.

PC performed best on graduation and retention factors, placing #3 in the region with an average freshman retention rate of 91% and a 6-year graduation rate of 87% (although PC was #2 in 2012). The private college was ranked #28 for faculty resources, with 89.8% of its faculty being full-time. On the student side, PC got a nod for student selectivity in its group, ranking #11 (40% of its freshman come from the top 10 percent of their high school classes). Loyal alums who give also kept PC at the top of the regional heap, ranking #8 in its category with an average alumni giving rate of 20%.

In the Regional University/North category, Villanova in PA took #1 honors, followed by Fairfield University in CT and Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore, which tied for the #2 spot this year. Nearby Bentley College in Waltham, MA shared the #4 spot with PC this year.

Bryant University

Bryant cracked the Top 15 this year in the Regional Universities/North category, moving up to #15 from its #16 spot a year ago.

The private university in Smithfield performed best overall in faculty resources, ranking #8 in its group (with 78.1% of its faculty being full-time). Bryant also ranked #12 for financial resources. On the student side, its average freshman retention rate (88%) and 6-year graduation rate (74%) placed it at #14 in its category for the second year in a row. Bryant also was credited for having no classes with 50 or more students.

Salve Regina University

After an upward move in 2012, Salve Regina moves down 4 notches for 2013, to an overall ranking of #38 among Regional Universities/North.

The private Newport university did best among its peers when it came to alumni giving, ranking at #6 with a rate of 20%. Salve also performed well in US News' graduation and retention ranking, rates, placing at #28 with an average freshman retention rate of 78% and a 6-year graduation rate of 70%.

Roger Williams University

This is the second year for Roger Williams being ranked in the Regional Universities/North category (in 2011 it was part of the Regional Colleges category). This year, the Bristol private institution ranked #55, dropping 9 points from its debut ranking last year at #46.

RWU moved up considerably in its financial resources ranking, up to #19 from last year's ranking at #30.

Johnson and Wales University

Johnson & Wales took a serious drop in the Regional Universities/North category in 2013, ranking at #98, a 16-spot drop from its 2012 performance.

The Providence-based private university with programs ranging from well-known culinary and hospitality departments to liberal arts and business, placed highest in its category for financial resources, at #12, but this too was a drop from 2012, when JWU ranked #8. No classes with 50 or more students helped its overall ranking.

Rhode Island College

Rhode Island College posted a rebound ranking this year (after a steep drop in 2012), placing in the Regional Universities/North category at #115, a 7-spot move up from last year's #122 (but still not back to its 2011 ranking of #105).

The state's public college's only Top 100 performance in the category was for faculty resources, where it ranked #94 overall--a move up of 4 spots from last year.


Rhode Island School of Design

Included but unranked overall in US News' Art Schools category, RISD posted only a few statistics for 2013, including an average alumni giving rate of 14%. According to the latest assessment, 53% of RISD's faculty are full-time.

For more information on how US News and World Reports assesses and ranks schools, go here.


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