Clarksville, Ark. --- University of the Ozarks is the top-ranked best value in the South, according to U.S. News & World Report's 2012 edition of "America's Best Colleges," which hit the newsstands this week.
In the annual later summer publication that analyzes institutions of higher education, Ozarks was ranked first in the "Great Schools, Great Prices" category among Regional Colleges in the South. The magazine listed 119 universities in the Regional Colleges category within the 12-state South Region.
It is the 12th time in the last 13 years that Ozarks has been ranked in the top five of the best value category, and the fourth time since 2003 that Ozarks has been ranked the No. 1 best value in the South. 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."
"We continue to gain status locally, regionally and nationally as being a campus that provides our students superb academic programs and exemplary personal attention," said U of O President Dr. Rick Niece. "Especially gratifying is our designation by U.S. News & World Report as the best value in the South. That ranking means that no one has a better quality of education for the cost of that education than Ozarks."
In the overall rankings of the universities, Ozarks was ranked 10th among the 119 universities that fall in the Regional Colleges category 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 13th consecutive year that Ozarks has been ranked a "top tier" university by the publication.
"To be recognized as a top-tier campus in the South Region for 13 consecutive years is a well-deserved tribute to our faculty, staff and students," Niece said.
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.
Following top-ranked Ozarks, the other colleges in the South Region’s top five of "Great Schools, Great Prices" included West Virginia Wesleyan College, Milligan College in Tennessee, Anderson-Broaddus College in West Virginia, and John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Ark.
U.S. News & World Report ranked more than 1,400 accredited schools nationally in its "America’s Best Colleges" 2012 edition.