James HowellStaff Writerjhowell@heartlandpublications.com
December 18, 2012
Appalachian State University has been recognized for providing its students with the most “bang for their bucks” among southern regional universities.
Appalachian State’s recognition for its efficiency came from the U.S. News & World Report’s new list of “Highly Ranked Universities that Operate Efficiently.”
Appalachian is listed second among the 134 regional universities in the South. James Madison University was ranked first on the list, and the University of Mary Washington, the College of Charleston and Belmont University were ranked third, fourth, and fifth respectively.
According to the magazine, this list shows which schools are able to produce the highest quality of education (as determined by their place in the magazine’s 2013 “best colleges” rankings), but spend relatively less money to achieve that high quality.
“Schools that are featured on this list are doing a good job in managing their financial resources relative to other schools that may have larger state funding, higher tuition, or larger endowments. Many of these schools are likely to be more affordable in terms of tuition relative to others in their ranking category, since almost all of them are public universities,” read the magazines report.
According to the magazine’s methodology, Appalachian spends $13,576 per student.
That low cost-per-student rate, divided by ASU’s rank as the 10th best southern regional university, allowed Appalachian State the honor of being named second among its competition in efficiency.
“The less a school is spending relative to its ranking, the more efficient it is in producing a quality education among its peers,” said the report.
This rank only means Appalachian State performed well against schools in the same “weight class” because the U.S. News and Report separated “national universities” from “regional universities.”
According to the U.S. News and Report, national universities are large college systems that include several doctoral programs, like Duke University or UNC Chapel Hill. Regional universities are colleges with a broader scope of undergraduate degrees but few, if any, doctoral programs.
This means Appalachian State did not compete against larger colleges, like Duke University, which ranked eighth on the magazine’s list among national universities.
Furthermore, the regional universities were divided into four different regions: north, south, midwest, and west.
Appalachian was placed in the southern region, which includes all of the regional universities in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas.