For the second year in a row, Belmont University held strong at No. 5 in U.S. News and World Report’s annual rankings of America’s Best Colleges in the South region. Announced today, Belmont’s ranking at No. 5 for the publication’s 2016 edition marks the University’s 7th consecutive year as a Top 10 institution on the Regional Universities-South listing. The No. 5 ranking demonstrates the University’s continued commitment to student engagement, excellence in teaching and institutional growth, with a record-breaking 2015 enrollment of 7,425 students at the beginning of the fall semester.
Belmont was also lauded as No. 2 on the publication’s first “Most Innovative Schools” Regional – South list, a peer-assessment survey compiled of institutions that are “making the most innovative improvements in terms of curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology or facilities.” Moreover, Belmont was ranked second in the South for its “unusually strong commitment to undergraduate teaching” and was further lauded by U.S. News as a “Best College for Veterans.”
Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “It’s a privilege to be associated with faculty and staff who devote so much of themselves every day to creating meaningful learning opportunities and experiences for our students. While I am proud of Belmont’s continued ranking on the ‘Best Colleges’ list, I am especially proud that our peers included us as No. 2 the newly created ‘Most Innovative’ list and No. 2 for our commitment to undergraduate teaching. To be regarded by your peers as a University to watch is an honor we are proud to own.”
In the Best Regional Universities-South category, Belmont is again the highest-ranked university of the 15 ranked Tennessee institutions in its category, a feat the University has claimed for more than a decade. Other southern regional institutions in the Top 5 included Elon University (NC), Rollins College (FL), The Citadel (SC), Samford University (AL) and Stetson University (FL), who tied with Belmont at No. 5 in the ranking. This places Belmont in a premier position among the 127 public and private institutions included in the South region, an area that covers Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas.
U.S. News bases its ranking on a number of measures using the most recently available statistics. Belmont’s graduation rate and overall score, the final measure that indicates how institutions fall in the rankings, made gains over previous reports. Meanwhile, the University’s much lauded enrollment growth was balanced by its commitment to small class sizes and personal attention with a student/faculty ration that remains 13-to-1.
At the start of the semester Belmont reached a record-breaking enrollment number for the fifteenth consecutive year. The University also opened a new $87 million academic and dining complex, the R. Milton and Denice Johnson Center, which houses the Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business, the media studies program and a stunning new dining hall. Additionally, the University is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year and has planned a year of festivities centered around the theme, “Belief in Something Greater.”