Vanderbilt holds steady at 18th in U.S. News’ best colleges ranking

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt University maintained its No. 18 position in U.S. News & World Report’s annual ranking of top national universities in a field that changed very little from last year’s.

Vanderbilt’s biggest jump came in the listing of “best values,” ranking 14th this year as compared to 20th last year and 26th the year before. Best values are determined by relating a school’s academic quality – as indicated by its U.S. News ranking – to the net cost of attendance for a student who receives the average level of need-based financial aid. According to the magazine, the higher the quality of the program and the lower the cost, the better the deal.

Vanderbilt also received recognition for its economic diversity and serving learning programs. The School of Engineering again was recognized as one of the top undergraduate programs in the nation – tying with eight other schools at No. 41.

All the same national universities that were in the top 20 last year ranked in that field again this year, with some minor movement among individual spots.

For the fourth year in a row, Vanderbilt’s serving learning programs were among “the programs to look for.” The university’s service learning programs have been recognized in this category for each of the years that the magazine has published what it calls “a list of schools with outstanding examples of academic programs that are believed to lead to student success.” Recognized service learning programs are those that require volunteer work in the community as “an instructional strategy. What’s learned in the field bolsters what happens in the class and vice versa,” the magazine’s editors explained.

For the first time, Vanderbilt was recognized for its “economic diversity,” based on the percentage of undergraduates receiving Pell grants for low-income students. With a rate of 12 percent, Vanderbilt was among the top 15 universities listed in this category.

This is the 18th consecutive year that Vanderbilt has been chosen by the magazine as one of the national top 25 universities.

The full rankings are available at the U.S. News website, The rankings and additional information will be in the newsstand book, (America’s Best Colleges), which goes on sale Aug. 22. Some of the rankings will be included in the weekly edition of U.S. News & World Report, which also is available Aug. 22.

U.S. News & World Report’s 2006 top 20 National Universities:
1. Harvard
3. Yale
4. University of Pennsylvania
5. Duke
7. Cal Tech
9. Columbia
11. Wash U.-St. Louis
12. Northwestern
13. Cornell
Johns Hopkins
15. Brown
University of Chicago
17. Rice
18. Notre Dame
20. Emory

Media contact: Elizabeth Latt, (615) 322-NEWS

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