BOONE, N.C. — Appalachian State University has been lauded by such notable publications as U.S. News & World Report, The Princeton Review, and MONEY, Forbes and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazines.
These publications have named the university as one of the nation’s “Best” higher education institutions for the 2019–20 academic year — recognizing Appalachian for its academics, innovation, benefits for student veterans, programs to enhance the first-year experience and other aspects.
Appalachian ranks among U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges,” as well as Forbes magazine’s “America’s Top Colleges” and “America’s Best Value Colleges.”
Additionally, Appalachian was named in MONEY magazine’s “2019–20 Best Colleges Ranking,” The Princeton Review’s “2020 Best Colleges: Region by Region” web feature as a “Best in the Southeast” and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine’s “Best College Values” for 2019.
“Ours is a thriving campus. We are prioritizing academics and focusing on the future, firmly rooted in our past, and guided by our academic mission,” Appalachian Chancellor Sheri Everts said. “Continual recognition by these and other respected publications affirms our status within higher education as North Carolina’s premier, public undergraduate university.”
Appalachian one of the ‘2020 Best Colleges’ — US News & World Report
Appalachian took top spots in U.S. News & World Report’s “2020 Best Colleges” rankings, released Monday, Sept. 9. The university, which welcomed 3,501 new first-year students this fall, ranked sixth in the nation in the First-Year Experiences category, new to U.S. News’ 2020 rankings. Schools named in this category were recognized for the experiences they provide first-year students, such as first-year seminar programs.
The university was also recognized in the report for its academics, value, innovation, student veteran benefits, learning communities and service-learning opportunities for students. Since the U.S. News & World Report “Best Colleges” rankings were first published annually, beginning in 1987, Appalachian has consistently placed among the top 15 public and private Southern universities.
Appalachian placed third among Southern universities in the Top Public Regional Universities category, second among Southern universities in the Best Colleges for Veterans category and moved up two positions this year in the Best Regional Universities of the South category for a ranking of No. 6.
In other U.S. News & World Report honors, Appalachian ranked in the following categories:
- Second in the Best Undergraduate Teaching category among Southern regional universities.
- Second in the Most Innovative Schools category among Southern regional universities, in terms of curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology or facilities.
- 17th in the Best Value Schools category for Southern regional universities — three positions above the 2019 ranking.
- Fifth in the Learning Communities category, also new to the 2020 rankings.
- 14th in the Service Learning category, which recognizes schools offering service-learning programs in which “volunteering in the community is an instructional strategy — and a requirement of a student's coursework.”
The data for the 2020 edition of “Best Colleges” were gathered in spring 2018 and spring 2019. Of the 4,815 schools that were surveyed, 2,070 responded. U.S. News followed the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education’s Basic Classification system to determine schools’ placement into the 2020 edition ranking categories.
Appalachian one of the ‘Best in the Southeast’ for 2020 — The Princeton Review
Appalachian is among 142 schools chosen by The Princeton Review for its “Best in the Southeast” section of its website feature “2020 Best Colleges: Region by Region,” which was announced in August. The schools were unranked.
In its website profile on Appalachian, The Princeton Review said the university offers “a broad liberal arts education” with “a strong sense of community and a challenging academic environment.” Students surveyed praised Appalachian’s student-oriented administration and indicated they appreciate the university’s focus on green initiatives and sustainability.
The Princeton Review selected schools primarily for their excellent academic programs. Secondarily, editors took into account what students attending the schools reported to them about their campus experiences on a student survey for this project.
Appalachian advances in “2019–20 Best Colleges Ranking” — MONEY magazine
Appalachian’s position in MONEY magazine’s “Best Colleges” list progressed almost 100 places between 2018 and 2019, with the university ranked solidly in the top half of the 744 U.S. colleges recognized. Appalachian ranked as No. 270 in the 2019–20 list, which was published in August.
The rankings were based on 26 separate factors spanning three categories, which included quality of education, affordability of degree, and graduates’ earnings and employment outcomes.
Appalachian placed among the three top-ranking University of North Carolina System schools named to the list — 13 total — alongside North Carolina State University and UNC-Chapel Hill.
Appalachian among 2019 ‘Top’ and ‘Best Value Colleges’ in America — Forbes magazine
Now in the top half of colleges ranked, Appalachian’s placement in Forbes magazine’s annual “America’s Top Colleges” list has gained 13 positions from 2018 to 2019. The university ranked as No. 305 out of 650 public higher education institutions in the nation for 2019.
Appalachian is the third highest ranking UNC System institution named in the list — with UNC-Chapel Hill first and North Carolina State University second of the 19 North Carolina colleges and universities included.
The university was also ranked within the top third of the 166 higher education institutions in the South that were named to the list and within the top half of the 250 public schools recognized nationally.
The schools named to the list were scored based on the following five factors: alumni salaries, student satisfaction, four- and six-year graduation rates, signs of individual success, including academic and career accolades, and successful leaders in public service and private enterprise according to Forbes’ database of successful people.
Additionally, Forbes named Appalachian in its fourth annual “America’s Best Value Colleges” list.
“The economic and social benefits of higher education are clear,” Forbes’ website states, citing a University of California, Berkley study that reported college graduates obtain better jobs, earn more money and experience less unemployment than high school graduates.
At Appalachian, the cost for tuition, fees, standard room and board, and most textbooks for the 2019–20 academic year is $15,124 for North Carolina residents and $29,931 for out-of-state residents.
The schools named to the list were ranked based on scores in the following areas: net price, net debt, alumni earnings, timely graduation, school quality and access for low-income students.
Appalachian recognized among ‘Best College Values’ for 2019 — Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine
Appalachian has been named among 400 ranked higher education institutions in Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine’s “Best College Values” list for 2019, which was published in July.
Out of the 30 ranked public schools in the nation’s Southeast/Mid-South region that were recognized in the list, Appalachian took the 18th spot for its in-state tuition and placed as No. 20 for its out-of-state tuition.
Additionally, the university — one of only six UNC System institutions to be recognized among the list’s ranked schools — placed 106th among all colleges.
In regard to these 2019 rankings, Kiplinger’s website states, “The institutions that earn top honors on our list range from small schools to immense flagship universities, but they all meet our definition of value: a high-quality education at an affordable price.”
To compile its rankings, Kiplinger considered “schools with strong academics, including a competitive admission rate, a low student-faculty ratio and a record of getting students out of school on time.”
What do you think?
Share your feedback on this story.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.