U.S. News & World Report and Forbes Give High Marks
Two premier publications – U.S. News & World Report and Forbes magazine – have published their annual rankings of colleges and universities for 2010-2011, and the University of La Verne was recognized for excellence by both.
Among private colleges and universities in California, La Verne ranked 8th , and in the Los Angeles area No. 4 behind Cal Tech, USC, and Pepperdine in the U.S. News report –National Universities category–a spot that President Steve Morgan finds particularly satisfying.
“It means that we have done a better job of articulating who we are to a wider audience while at the same time enhancing the quality of everything we do,” Morgan said. “We’re never satisfied and are always trying to push the target out a little beyond our grasp. People are recognizing that, and I think the No. 4 ranking is a reflection of our successes.”
Nationwide, La Verne rose to No. 136 in U.S. News’ National top-tier group –its highest placement ever and tied with collegiate powerhouses Seton Hall University and DePaul University. Harvard was ranked No. 1 nationally. Amongst Tier 1 schools with campus enrollment under 5,000 students, La Verne ranked 5th in the country.
“We’re pleased,” said Greg Dewey, provost. “What I like to see is how we’re doing relative to our peers, and we’re obviously doing very well. This shows that we’re an up-and-coming institution, that we’re getting on people’s radar screens, and that we’re well-respected, and that’s gratifying.”
Dewey went a step further, saying La Verne hopes to improve its top national ranking by U.S. News in the near future.
“That would be great,” he said. “This is a time of opportunity for us, when our level of academic quality and overall excellence are hitting new heights. La Verne is getting recognition, and we deserve it.
La Verne’s overall placement by U.S. News & World Report is based upon a variety of criteria that include undergraduate academic reputation, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, financial resources, and alumni giving.
“Over time, we have risen notably,” Morgan said. “We’re pleased to be ranked where we are and in the category—national university—where we are. It’s a reflection of our fine faculty, our continuing efforts to build the quality of our academic programs and our facilities while doing a better job of telling people our story.”
In achieving its prominent national ranking, La Verne placed higher than a number of prestigious colleges and universities, including George Mason University and St. John’s University. Morgan believes the U.S. News, Forbes and other college rankings are helpful as schools strive to attract students during difficult economic times.
“I believe the public does pay attention to the rankings,” he said. “They aren’t perfect, but they do serve as guides to many in the public when looking for a college or university. They do help, and we‘re pleased to be considered an exceptional university.”
Forbes, which also rates the top colleges and universities annually, again designated La Verne as one of “America’s Best Colleges” for 2010-1011. The school received a similar designation by the magazine for 2009-2010 based upon various criteria, including the quality of education provided, the positive experience reported by students, and alumni achievement. Some 600 schools, the top 15 percent, made the Forbes list from the more than 4,000 eligible colleges.
The two rankings came as no surprise to university officials, who watched proudly as several milestones were reached during the past year. La Verne’s traditional undergraduate applications more than doubled from the previous year resulting in a 70% increase in new students for Fall 2010 and an all-time record student population. And, just one year ago the university hosted the grand opening of its 40,000-square-foot Campus Center, the first LEED-certified building in the community. That facility was created in part to help attract prospective students—something it appears to be doing very, very well.