U of O ranked No. 6 in South by U.S. News & World Report

Release Date: 9/13/2013

University of the Ozarks has been ranked a "top tier" university in the South by U.S. News & World Report for the 15th consecutive year.

In its 2014 edition of "America's Best Colleges," which hit the newsstands on Sept. 10, U.S. News & World Report listed Ozarks 6th overall among the 100 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.

Ozarks has been ranked a "top tier" university by the publication every year since 2000. Ozarks moved up three spots from its 9th-place ranking in 2013.

In addition, Ozarks ranked fourth in the South Region in the "Great Schools at Great Prices" category in the annual late summer publication that analyzes institutions of higher education. The magazine listed 100 universities in the Regional Colleges category within the 12-state South Region.

It is the 14th time in the last 15 years that Ozarks has been ranked in the top five of 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."

This year,  U.S. News & World Report increased the weight of graduation and retention rates in its rankings. As a result, outcome-related measures account for 30 percent of the rankings and are now the most heavily weighted factors.

"U.S. News strives to provide students and their families with the most comprehensive data available," said Bob Morse, director of data research. "Measuring outcomes is critical to understanding how well a school retains and educates its students."

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.

U.S. News & World Report ranked more than 1,400 accredited schools nationally in its "America's Best Colleges" edition.

Ozarks was also recently ranked highly by another college ranking report.

In August, Washington Monthly listed Ozarks 25th overall among the nation's Baccalaureate colleges in its 2013 College Rankings edition. It was the second consecutive year that the publication has ranked Ozarks among the nation's top 25 Baccalaureate colleges. The 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.

"These rankings are a testament to the great work of our faculty, staff and administrators," said Ozarks President Richard Dunsworth. "It is an honor to be recognized for our university's commitment to providing a quality education to our students."