University of the Ozarks has been ranked the No. 1 "Best Value" in the South in the 2016 college rankings by "U.S. News & World Report."
In its 2016 edition of America’s Best Colleges, which hit the newsstands this week, U.S. News & World Report listed U of O eighth overall among the 116 Regional Colleges in the South Region. The overall rankings examine such criteria as academic reputation, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving.
It is the 17th consecutive year that Ozarks has been ranked a "top tier" university by the publication. Ozarks has been ranked among the top 10 of schools in the South Region in each of the past five years.
In addition, Ozarks was ranked first in the South Region in the "Best Value Schools" category of the annual late summer publication that analyzes institutions of higher education. It is the second time in the last five years that Ozarks has been ranked atop the "Best Value" category.
The value rankings evaluate the cost of attending a college or university relative to the quality of the institution. According to the magazine, "the higher the quality of the program and the lower the cost, the better the deal." It is the 16th time in the last 17 years that Ozarks has been ranked in the top five of the best value category.
U.S. News also ranked Ozarks 21st in the South Region in the category of highest proportion of classes with fewer than 20 students. According to the publication, 72.8 percent of the university’s classes had fewer than 20 students during the 2014 reporting cycle.
The magazine listed 116 universities in the Regional Colleges category within the 12-state South Region. The South Region consists of colleges and universities in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and Virginia.
This year’s 31st edition of America’s Best Colleges includes data on nearly 1,800 colleges and universities. Among the quality factors measured in the rankings are peer assessment, graduation and student retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving. U.S. News uses the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education to produce categories of rankings for colleges and universities.
Ozarks was also recently ranked highly by another college ranking report.
In August, Washington Monthly listed Ozarks 41st overall among the nation’s Baccalaureate Colleges in its 2015 College Rankings edition. It was the fourth consecutive year that the publication has ranked Ozarks among the nation’s top 50 Baccalaureate colleges. Washington Monthly ranks more than 1,500 colleges and universities on such criteria as recruiting and graduating low-income students and commitment to public service.