Once again, U.S. News has ranked Berry College the No. 1 best value among regional universities in the South which consists of 13 states and territories.
Berry rose in nearly all the 2024 U.S. News & World Reports’ Best Colleges rankings. It ranked 1st for “best undergraduate teaching”, 5th for “most innovative” and 5th overall in the South.
The U.S. News Southern category consists of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Virgin Islands and West Virginia. The regional university category includes schools that offer a full range of undergraduate programs and some master’s programs but few doctoral programs.
The “best value” ranking is a reflection of Berry’s successful LifeWorks program and focus on affordability. The Lifeworks program guarantees students up to eight semesters of paid, hands-on professional development experience. To assist with affordability Berry awards more than $56 million in financial aid, with 99% percent of undergraduates receiving financial aid.
The “best undergraduate teaching” ranking focuses on schools where faculty and administrators are recognized for teaching undergraduates effectively. Berry is known for its 12:1 student to faculty ratio allowing students to receive personal attention in and out of the classroom. The institution also focuses on providing a wide network of lifelong mentors and advisors to students.
“Berry consistently attracts students and faculty who embrace our unique educational mission, which encourages academic excellence through intellectual exploration, as well as practical learning experiences and spiritual growth,” said Berry Vice President for Enrollment Management Andrew Bressette. “Not only are students attracted to this education, but they increasingly recognize the value it provides both here and after they graduate.”
Nationally among all colleges and universities, Berry was ranked 19th for “service learning” and among the top 40 universities for “best first-year experience”. Service learning programs use volunteering in the community as an instructional strategy – and a requirement of a student’s coursework.
This year factors that directly relate to social mobility, graduation and retention rates, graduate indebtedness, graduate earnings compared with earnings of high school graduates, and graduation rate performance, have a total weight of more than 50% in the ranking methodology, far outweighing any other factor in the rankings.
The U.S. News rankings are based on a formula that uses statistical measures of academic quality, such as graduation rates, social mobility, graduate indebtedness, faculty information and admissions data. And 20 percent of the rankings are based on expert opinion, determined by a peer assessment from top academics at U.S. colleges.
Nationally recognized for academic excellence and as an outstanding educational value, Berry is an independent, coeducational, comprehensive liberal arts college of approximately 2,200 students. For more than a century, the college has offered an exceptional education that balances intellectual exploration, practical learning, and character development. Its 27,000-acre campus is the world’s largest.