The Collegian
Sunday, December 05, 2021

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UR recognized by U.S. News and Princeton Review in 2022 rankings

<p>An aerial glimpse at the University of Richmond campus.</p>

An aerial glimpse at the University of Richmond campus.

For the second consecutive year, the University of Richmond maintained its highest rankings to date as 22nd in Top National Liberal Arts Colleges and 25th in Best Value Schools for higher education institutions in the U.S. News and World Report’s Best Colleges for 2022.

UR also received recognition in this year’s 30th edition of The Princeton Review’s “Best 387 Colleges” on a number of “Great Lists,” curated especially for the milestone rankings. The lists identify universities that have the most frequent appearances in the publication’s annual “Best of” ranking lists since 1992. 

The 37th edition of the U.S. News and World Report “Best Colleges” states that the publication assesses 1,466 U.S. bachelor's degree-granting institutions on 17 measures of academic quality. These measures fall into nine categories: graduation and retention, graduation rate performance, graduate indebtedness, social mobility, faculty resources, expert opinion, financial resources, student excellence and alumni giving. 

Prospective students and families often turn to U.S. News for information relating to the academic quality of universities across the country to make informed decisions throughout their college search. 

“When applying to colleges, I knew very little about what schools I best qualified for and the nuances between the schools’ offerings,” senior Patrick O’Keefe said. “School rankings were a factor in my decision, although not a deciding one. A No. 20 versus No. 25 difference in rankings would not have had much impact, but a No. 20 versus No. 40 in ranking might have.”

Earlier this spring, The Princeton Review’s Best Value Colleges for 2021 publication recognized UR in its “Top 20 Best Schools for Internships,'' ranking UR as No. 2 after the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. UR surpassed its previous rank at sixth in 2020. The Princeton Review also recognized UR in its Guide to Green Colleges list in 2021.

“Prospective families love to hear about the accolades that Richmond receives,” UR student ambassador and tour guide Brendan Fowler said. “Supporting my knowledge and experiences at Richmond with rankings from sources like The Princeton Review helps show prospective families all that Richmond has to offer.”

UR’s Office of Undergraduate Admission declined to comment on the rankings.

“The selections were based on three criteria: the number of times a college appeared on a list (including how recent the last appearance was), its numerical rank when on a list, and the overall consistency of feedback from the schools’ surveyed students in a given category,” according to a Princeton Review press release.

The 26 lists – composed of 16 to 29 schools in unranked and alphabetical order – highlight increasingly important topics for college applicants and their families. The Princeton Review lists topics relating to academics and administration, demographics, politics, extracurriculars, quality of life and town life.

UR also received recognition on the following Great Lists:

  • Best Southeastern
  • Best Value Colleges 
  • Great Athletic Facilities
  • Great Campus Food 
  • Great Career Services
  • Great Classroom Experience
  • Great Quality of Life
  • Great-Run Colleges
  • Most Beautiful Campus

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“I did some research on overall rankings, which did have a minor impact on my decision, but I did no research on specific rankings like career services or campus beauty,” O’Keefe said. 

O’Keefe said rankings of alumni networks would be a category that would impact his decision. 

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, most notably absent from The Princeton Review’s 30th edition of The Best 387 Colleges is the “Top 20” ranking lists of colleges. These lists are traditionally curated from surveys based on on-campus student experiences.

The 2022 edition of The Best 387 Colleges comes after one of the most trying academic years for universities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Student experiences were affected by the health and safety protocols and mandates implemented by every university.  

“With most students attending college remotely this past year due to COVID, we knew it would be impossible to survey them about their on-campus experiences — from how they rated their college library to their campus food,” said Rob Franek, editor in chief of The Princeton Review and author of The Best 387 Colleges, to University Business. “After all, the majority of [students] were dining in their family dining rooms, not their campus dining halls. We look forward to returning to our traditional and robust student survey process in the 2021-22 academic year ahead.” 

Contact news writer Katie Grogan at katie.grogan@richmond.edu.

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