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ACU Home > Major Events > News > 2003 News Archive > U.S. News rankings

ACU again ranked among 'America's Best Colleges'

For immediate release
Aug. 22, 2003

U.S. News & World Report once again ranked Abilene Christian University in the top tier of quality among "America's Best Colleges" and as a "Best Value"  in its 2004 college guide, scheduled to hit newsstands Monday.

ACU was ranked 21st overall among the 126 schools in the 15-state West region of the "Best Universities-Master's" category, placing it in the top tier of quality. ACU has been in the top tier for five consecutive years and nine of the last ten years.

ACU also was included in the "Best Values" list, which ranks schools based on cost after need-based aid combined with academic quality. ACU has been listed in this group for eight out of the past 10 years.

"One of our key goals is to remain in the top tier of quality and the lowest tier in price, so we're thrilled that we've been able to achieve that goal consistently," said Dr. Royce Money, ACU president. "We're also thankful when our academic reputation score continues to rise as others see the value of an ACU education. ACU students are courted by some of the world's top companies, schools and organizations, and they have acceptance rates into graduate and professional schools well above the national average."

Seven Texas schools -- two of which are located in Abilene -- appeared in the top tier among "Best Universities-Master's" -- ACU, Trinity University, St. Mary's University of San Antonio, University of St. Thomas, St. Edward's University, LeTourneau University and Hardin-Simmons University. Only top-ranked Trinity and St. Mary's were ranked above ACU. The "Best Universities-Master's" top tier included 34 of the 126 schools in the West region.

The rankings are based on several criteria, including peer assessment survey, graduation rate, freshmen retention rate, faculty-student ratio and entrance exam scores.

ACU's scores reflected a higher overall score, a higher academic reputation (or "peer assessment") score, a greater percentage of classes with less than 20 students, a lower percentage of classes with more than 50 students, a higher percentage of full-time faculty and  lower acceptance rate (higher selectivity) compared to last year.

The book ranks 573 total "Best Universities-Master's" in the North, South, West and Midwest regions. The "Best Universities-Master's" category represents universities that offer a full range of undergraduate degrees, some master's degrees and few, if any, doctoral degrees.

U.S. News uses six categories of indicators to capture academic quality in the "Master's" grouping:  peer assessment (25 percent), graduation and retention of students (25 percent), faculty resources (20 percent), student selectivity (15 percent), financial resources (10 percent) and alumni giving (5 percent).

The full text of the U.S. News & World Report rankings is available online at

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