BOONE, N.C. — Appalachian State University has earned its place among the “Best” higher education institutions in the nation — and the Southeast — for the 2020–21 academic year, according to national publications U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review, as well as personal finance website Money.com.
The three recently recognized the university for its academics, value, innovation, benefits for student veterans and other aspects. U.S. News & World Report also recognized App State among the top 10 schools in the nation for the programs it offers to enhance the first-year experience.
App State ranks among U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges” and Money.com’s “Best Colleges for Your Money.” Additionally, the university was named in The Princeton Review’s “2021 Best Colleges: Region by Region” web feature as a “Best in the Southeast.”
“Our faculty, staff and students continually elevate the Appalachian Experience,” said App State Chancellor Sheri Everts. “These prestigious rankings and recognitions underscore the university’s 121-year legacy of leadership and innovation in higher education.”
Read on to learn more about App State’s accolades.
App State one of 2021’s ‘Best Colleges’ — US News & World Report
The university took top spots in U.S. News & World Report’s “2021 Best Colleges” rankings, released Monday, Sept. 14. App State advanced to No. 1 in the Most Innovative Schools category among Southern regional universities, in terms of curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology or facilities.
The university, which welcomed 20,023 students to campus in fall 2020, including 3,906 new first-year students — a 10.4% increase since 2019, ranked eighth in the nation in the First-Year Experiences category. 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 and learning communities. Since the U.S. News & World Report “Best Colleges” rankings were first published annually, beginning in 1987, App State has consistently placed among the top 15 public and private Southern universities.
App State placed third among Southern universities in the Top Public Schools and Best Colleges for Veterans categories, and held its No. 6 ranking in the Best Regional Universities of the South category for a second consecutive year.
In other U.S. News honors, App State ranked in the following categories:
- Second in the Best Undergraduate Teaching category among Southern regional universities.
- Seventh in the Learning Communities category.
- 21st in the Best Value Schools category for Southern regional universities.
U.S. News has also named App State among 21 Southern regional universities recognized in its “A-Plus Schools for B Students” list — a new, unranked list for 2021. To be eligible for the list, schools had to be ranked in the top three-fourths of their 2021 “Best Colleges” ranking categories and have an average first- to second-year retention rate of at least 75% (first-year classes entering between fall 2015 and fall 2018).
The data for the 2021 edition of “Best Colleges” pertain to fall 2019 and earlier. The latest edition assesses 1,452 U.S. bachelor’s degree-granting institutions on 17 measures of academic quality. U.S. News followed the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education’s Basic Classification system to determine schools’ placement into the 2021 edition ranking categories.
App State among ‘Best in the Southeast’ for 2021 — The Princeton Review
App State is among 142 schools chosen by The Princeton Review for its “Best in the Southeast” section of its website feature “2021 Best Colleges: Region by Region,” which was announced in August. The schools were unranked.
In its website profile on App State, 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 App State’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.
App State advances in Money.com’s 2021 “Best Colleges for Your Money” rankings
App State’s position in Money.com’s annual “Best Colleges for Your Money” rankings has advanced 55 spots between 2019 and 2020, placing the university in the top 30% of U.S. colleges named to the list for 2020–21. The university ranked as No. 215 out of 739 schools.
The rankings were based on 27 separate factors spanning three categories, which included quality of education, affordability of degree, and graduates’ earnings and employment outcomes.
A total of 13 University of North Carolina System institutions, including App State, were named to the Money.com list, with App State placing alongside North Carolina State University and UNC-Chapel Hill as the three top-ranking UNC System schools.
The “Best Colleges for Your Money” rankings were previously featured in Money.com’s Money Magazine, which ceased publication in summer 2019.
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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 20,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.