Richmond jumped five places to No. 27 (a two-way tie) in the annual ranking of national liberal arts colleges.
The magazine also named Richmond to three special lists in its category — best value schools (No. 9), up-and-comers having the most promising and innovative programs (No. 3), and high school counselors’ picks (tied for No. 24).
The overall ranking is Richmond’s highest since moving into the national liberal arts category seven years ago, when it debuted at No. 34.
“This is our highest-ever ranking in the national liberal arts category, and everyone at Richmond is gratified by the recognition of the good work going on here,” said university President Edward L. Ayers. “We’ve been in the category only seven years and have seen a steady ascent. Our rapid increase in applications for admission to record levels and our continuing commitment to meeting 100 percent of students’ demonstrated financial need probably have a lot to do with the positive perception of the university”.
“It’s great that others recognize the work Richmond is doing in terms of educating students. For example, the fact that U.S. News surveyed 2,400 high school counselors at public and private high schools in all 50 states is very important. The magazine acknowledges counselors’ insight into how well colleges and universities meet the needs and expectations of their students,” said Ayers.
“The best value tag is critical recognition of Richmond’s commitment to ensuring access to a high quality education by providing outstanding financial aid packages. And, being named to a very short list of up-and-comers by presidents, provosts and deans shows us that educators from across the country recognize the great work we’re doing to provide an exceptional undergraduate education,” Ayers said.
Other recently released college guides that have ranked or selected Richmond include “The Fiske Guide to Colleges” (2012 edition), Princeton Review’s “The Best 376 Colleges: 2012 Edition,” and Forbes.com’s America’s Best Colleges list. The university consistently ranks as a top-tier liberal arts college and best value by U.S. News, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and SmartMoney magazine. Bankrate.com recently named Richmond one of the “10 best colleges for the money.”