FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 20, 2004
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Birmingham-Southern College is again included in the top tier of the Best Liberal Arts Colleges in the country in the annual U.S.News & World Report rankings released on the magazine's Web site today (Aug. 20). The printed version of the 2005 America's Best Colleges publication will hit newsstands Monday, Aug. 23.
Birmingham-Southern is ranked No. 70 among the 217 institutions included in the Best Liberal Arts Colleges category, which U.S.News tabs as its “national” category of liberal arts schools and the highest category such an institution can attain. The top 110 institutions are numerically ranked in Tier I, with the remainder listed alphabetically in either Tier III or Tier IV.
The annual rankings publication also includes Birmingham-Southern among the top 20 liberal arts colleges in the nation in terms of least amount of debt of students graduating in 2003.
Birmingham-Southern has been ranked among the best national liberal arts colleges by U.S.News for 11 straight years.
The college was recognized by U.S.News & World Report as the No. 1 Regional Liberal Arts College in the South Region in 1987, the third year the rankings were published. The following year, the college's classification used to compile the rankings was upgraded from Regional Liberal Arts College to Liberal Arts College (national). Since then, the college's ranking has improved from Tier IV of this category to its current inclusion in the top tier.
U.S.News builds upon a classification system maintained by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching to group schools by mission, and in some cases by region, as National Universities-Doctoral (national), Liberal Arts Colleges (national), Universities-Master's (by region), and Comprehensive Colleges-Bachelor's (by region).
The magazine ranks the colleges within each category based on a number of indicators in the areas of peer assessment of academic reputation, retention and graduation of students, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving, and graduation rate performance.
Colleges in the Liberal Arts Colleges (national) category emphasize undergraduate education and award at least 50 percent of their degrees in liberal arts disciplines.
Birmingham-Southern is a four-year, private liberal arts college founded in 1856 and affiliated with the United Methodist Church.