University of the Ozarks has been ranked the No. 1 Best Value in the South in the latest U.S. News & World Report’s annual college rankings.
In the 2022 edition of Best Colleges, released this week, U of O ranked first in the “Best Value Schools” category among more than 120 regional colleges in the South. The value rankings evaluate the cost of attending a university relative to the quality of the institution and takes into account such things as the percentage of students receiving need-based financial aid and the average institutional aid those students receive.
The magazine’s annual late summer publication that analyzes institutions of higher education also had Ozarks tied for fifth in overall rankings with Maryville College in Tennessee among South Regional Colleges — the 23rd consecutive year Ozarks has been ranked in the “top tier” among regional colleges in the South.
Ozarks has been ranked among the top 10 in the 12-state South Region in each of the past 10 years. The overall rankings examine such criteria as academic reputation, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving.
In addition, Ozarks was ranked 18th in the South Region in the category of “Social Mobility,” up from No. 27 last year. This category represents those colleges that are most successful “at advancing social mobility by enrolling and graduating large proportions of disadvantaged students awarded with Pell Grants. The vast majority of these federal grants are awarded to students whose adjusted gross family incomes are under $50,000,” according to the magazine.
“These rankings are testament to the work that our faculty, staff, administrators and trustees are doing to fulfill the mission of this University,” said U of O President Richard Dunsworth. “I’m especially proud of the recognition in the Best Value and Social Mobility categories because those rankings reflect our commitment to controlling costs and limiting student debt while also providing a high-quality and personalized educational experience.”
The publication’s South Region consists of primarily undergraduate colleges and universities in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and Virginia.