Vanderbilt’s service learning effort rated among the best in U.S. News rankings

September 13, 2002

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt University held steady at No. 21 in the latest rankings by U.S. News & World Report, while the University’s service learning effort ranked 17th in the magazine’s first review of “Programs that Really Work.”

Vanderbilt is still considered among the best values in higher education, advancing from 36th to 32nd this year in the category of “Great Schools at Great Prices.”

Vanderbilt tied with Carnegie Mellon in the 21st spot among the nation’s best national universities. The School of Engineering moved from 43rd to a tie for 44th among undergraduate engineering programs along with Dartmouth, Michigan State, University of Arizona, Washington University in St. Louis and Yale University.

Vanderbilt’s service learning effort tied at 17th with Alverno College and Cornell University. Service learning programs, the magazine’s editors explained, are those in which “volunteering in the community is an instructional strategy – a requirement of a student’s coursework. The service informs what happens in the class, and vice versa.”

In determining best values, the editors said they used a formula that relates a school’s academic quality, as indicated in the magazine’s ranking, to the net cost of attendance for a student who receives the average level of financial aid. The editors considered only schools ranked in the top half of their categories, ”since we believe the most significant values are among colleges that are above average academically.”

All of the schools which held down the top positions in the “best national universities” rankings last year are back again this year along with Duke, which moved from eighth to a five-way tie for 4th place. The top spots went to Princeton, No. 1: Harvard and Yale, tied at No. 2; California Institute of Technology, Stanford, University of Pennsylvania and Duke, all at No. 4.

The full rankings will be available at the U.S. News website,, Sept. 13. The rankings and additional information will be in the newsstand book, America’s Best Colleges, which goes on sale Sept. 16. Some of the rankings will be included in the Sept. 23 issue of U.S. News & World Report, which also goes on sale Sept. 16.

This is the 13th year that Vanderbilt has been chosen by the magazine as one of the nation’s top 25 universities.

Contact: Elizabeth Latt, 615-322-NEWS,

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