ACU moves up four places in 2001 U.S. News "Best Colleges" rankings

For Immediate Release
Sept. 1, 2000


Tom Craig, Director of Media and Community Relations
(915) 674-2692

U.S. NewsABILENE - Abilene Christian University moved up four places in the U.S. News "Best Colleges" rankings, maintaining its high-quality status for the seventh straight year.

The rankings were released at 6 a.m. Friday on the U.S. News Web site.

ACU moved from 23rd to 19th among the 112 western regional universities - 53 private and 59 public - in 15 states, said Dr. Royce Money, ACU president. The university was named one of the "Best Regional Universities" and is considered "selective" in its admissions standards.

"I am thrilled that ACU continues to be recognized nationally for its overall quality," Money said. "As our academic reputation increases, the value of an ACU degree increases for each graduate. Also, our enhanced reputation allows us to reach more high quality students from across the country."

Only four Texas universities were ranked in the top tier of quality in the regional university category: ACU, Trinity, St. Mary's University of San Antonio and the University of St. Thomas. All four are church-related: Church of Christ, Presbyterian and Catholic.

ACU is the largest Texas regional university ranked in the first tier of quality, topping the enrollment of the other three schools by more than 1,500 students. Also, ACU is the only one of the four not located in a major city. The others are in Houston and San Antonio.

As defined by the Carnegie Foundation, regional universities provide a full range of undergraduate and master's level programs, but offer few if any doctoral programs. ACU has one doctoral degree, the Doctor of Ministry. U.S. News ranked a total of 504 regional universities within four geographic regions: North, South, Midwest and West.

ACU generally attracts students from all the states and more than 60 nations because of its blend of high quality academics and Christian values, Money said. Last year, 22 percent of ACU's freshmen came to Abilene from outside Texas.

Enhancements in several areas helped ACU move up in the national rankings. Compared to last year, the university had a higher freshman-to-sophomore retention rate, a lower faculty-student ratio, more classes under 20 students, fewer classes with over 50 students, and a higher average ACT/SAT score. ACU also had improved faculty and financial resources and ranked higher in selectivity.

The alumni giving rate also increased, which indicates stronger alumni loyalty and satisfaction. In fact, ACU's alumni giving rate ranked 16th and the percentage of giving - 22 percent - was higher than seven universities who ranked above ACU overall.

Fifteen states are included in the west region: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

The U.S. News rankings are based on academic reputation (25 percent), student selectivity (15 percent), faculty resources (20 percent), graduation and retention rate (25 percent), financial resources (10 percent), and alumni giving (5 percent).

The full database of U.S. News rankings is available at


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Last update: Sept. 1, 2000
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