September 13, 2016
Two Philadelphia-area colleges, both familiar sights on lists of the nation's best institutions of higher learning, were included in the top 50 of the U.S. News & World Report's annual rankings of the country's best national universities.
For Villanova, this is the first time the school's been listed in the U.S. News' national university category.
Previously, the private institution had been included in the publication's regional university category, where it had been No. 1 in the north region for 23 straight years.
That changed this year when Villanova's Carnegie Classification, a system used by U.S. News to categorize schools, was bumped up to the doctoral universities category, making it eligible for the national universities rankings.
U.S. News includes 310 colleges in its national universities category, which ranks schools that "offer a full range of undergraduate majors, plus master's and doctoral programs."
“This new ranking is a significant milestone in the University’s history, and is one more example of how Villanova continues to move forward academically,” said Villanova President the Rev. Peter M. Donohue.
Several suburban Philadelphia colleges also ranked high on U.S. News' list of the country's best liberal arts colleges, including Swarthmore College (fourth), Haverford College (12th) and Bryn Mawr College (31st).
A number of factors are used to determine schools' rankings for both categories, including value, academic achievement and how high school counselors evaluate each school.