ACU again ranks as one of "American's Best Colleges"; academic reputation continues to increase

For Immediate Release
August 20, 1999

ABILENE, Texas - Abilene Christian University has once again ranked as one of "America's Best Colleges" and increased its national academic reputation among leaders in higher education, according to the 2000 edition of the U.S. News & World Report guide.

ACU is one of only four Texas universities ranked in the top tier of quality among the 111 schools in the 15-state West Region. This marks the sixth straight year ACU has ranked high in the "Best Colleges" guide.

Only 28 schools earned top-tier status in the "Best Regional Universities" category, based on academic reputation, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving.

ACU's academic reputation has climbed steadily in the past three years, increasing from 2.6 in the 1998 guide, to 2.9 last year and 3.1 this year. This ranking reflects the opinions of various leaders at other universities in the West Region.

Last year, the U.S. News editors explained that academic reputation is 25 percent of the overall weighting "because a diploma from a distinguished college so clearly helps graduates get good jobs and gain admission to top graduate schools."

"ACU students are courted by the some of the world's top companies, schools and organizations, and they have acceptance rates into graduate school well above the national average," said Dr. Royce Money, ACU president.

The magazine ranked a total of 504 regional universities in four U.S. regions: North, South, Midwest and West. ACU competes with colleges and universities in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Regional universities are defined as schools offering a full range of undergraduate and master's-level programs but few, if any, doctoral programs. ACU offers 117 bachelor's, 32 master's and one doctoral program.

ACU's rankings increased in academic reputation, graduation rate, freshman retention rate, selectivity and percent of freshmen in the top 25 percent of their high school class. The alumni giving rate increased again this year, indicating strong alumni loyalty and support.

"We are honored to again be named one of 'America's Best Colleges,' " Money said. "Such outside recognition helps us attract more bright, talented students who want to make a difference. These students help us fulfill our mission - to educate students for Christian service and leadership throughout the world."

ACU, founded in 1906, now has 80,000-plus alumni living in all 50 states and 89 countries.

The U.S. News college rankings were released to colleges Thursday and reported on the publication's Web site Friday. The rankings edition of the magazine will be on newsstands Monday.

A more thorough college guidebook, containing rankings of more than 1,400 accredited, four-year colleges and universities, goes on sale Tuesday, according to U.S. News information.


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Last update: August 20, 1999
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