Elon, High Point Universities Highly Rated by U.S. News
U.S. News and World Report's “America’s Best Colleges” rated both High Point and Elon as best in their categories: High Point was rated number one Southern Regional College, and Elon the number one Southern Regional University in the 2014 list, out last week. Dr. Nido Qubein is the president of High Point University.
"We are very blessed at High Point University to receive this recognition from US News & World Report,"Quebein says, "This is a nationally respected ranking, and universities and colleges from coast to coast certainly acknowledge that while rankings are not in and of themselves the end-all and the know-all, but nevertheless they are seen by parents and counselors and other entities as an important acknowledgement of an institution’s standing among its peer colleges."
Dan Anderson, Elon’s Vice President for University Communications, though, cautions against reading too much into college rankings. "Every year when these rankings come out, a lot of the media pay a lot of attention to the numerical rankings, and I think they misconstrue the importance of what college rankings are all about," Anderson explains, "Especially the U.S. News Rankings. They really are a tool that families can use as they make a very important choice in their students’ lives. But they’re only one tool. And it’s important to know that families make choices on location, and majors, and price, and recommendations from friends and relatives. There are all sorts of factors that go into making college choices."
And Anderson explains part of the process that is used to come up with the various rankings. "We have a questionnaire that we complete, that’s hundreds of pages long. They ask us questions about our freshman retention rate, and our graduation rate, the size of our classes, our budgets and how we support academic programs – they ask about our student/faculty ratio, and the credentials of our incoming students, how many students we accept. It’s a very extensive questionnaire process."
Since Qubein took over as HPU President in 2005, High Point has gone from 17th in its category to number one. And it’s also number one in up-and-coming Regional Southern Colleges, and number one in undergraduate teaching in the same category. And to what does Qubein attribute those ratings? "Well, academic excellence first and foremost. Preparing students in a liberal arts institution to have critical thinking skills and to expand their horizons as human beings, but at the same time being fully cognizant of the needs of the marketplace, which says we want students who are prepared for life. So at High Point University we really emphasize holistic education – the totality of education – not merely being trained in the ‘how,’ but also being prepared in the ‘why.’"
In its category (National Universities) Wake Forest University placed 23rd, and UNC Chapel Hill is 30th.