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Azusa Pacific Ranks among Nation’s Top Colleges

by University Relations

Azusa Pacific earned a place in the National Universities category in U.S.News & World Report’s America’s Best Colleges 2014 rankings, as well as the “Best Western Colleges” section of The Princeton Review. Positioned alongside premier universities in U.S.News & World Report such as Princeton University (number 1), Stanford University (number 5), and the University of Southern California (number 23), APU rose in the ranks to number 173.

APU also gained inclusion on several of U.S.News & World Report’s subcategory lists. These subcategories included: highest freshman retention rate, highest six-year graduation rate, highest proportion of classes with fewer than 20 students, campus ethnic diversity, economic diversity, A+ school for B students, most international students, and least debt for the class of 2012.

“This recognition affirms APU’s reputation as a premier Christian university and a leader in higher education serving a diverse student population,” said President Jon R. Wallace, DBA. “Our commitment to excellence and growing academic reputation means our graduates leave as sought-after disciples and scholars ready to make a difference in the world.”

U.S.News & World Report annually ranks 1,596 schools. The National Universities category includes 281 universities (173 public, 101 private, and 7 for-profit) that offer a wide range of undergraduate majors, as well as master’s and doctoral degrees; many also strongly emphasize research. Seven primary areas form this classification, including peer assessment, retention and graduation rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving, and graduation rate performance.

Azusa Pacific is 1 of 124 institutions recommended by The Princeton Review, and its ranking includes the following rating score categories: academics, admissions selectivity, financial aid, fire safety, quality of life, and green (environmental responsibility). Unlike many other well-known rankings, The Princeton Review’s 62 lists comprise candid feedback from surveys administered to college students during the school year. The surveys contain more than 80 questions, from “How many out-of-class hours do you spend studying each day?” to “How do you rate your campus food?” Some open-ended questions offer students the opportunity to provide narrative responses.

“These rankings speaks to the caliber of our programs, which deliver outstanding outcomes for traditional students, transfer students, graduate students, adult learners, and online students,” said Mark Stanton, Ph.D., provost and chief academic officer. “The recognition attests to the fact that an APU education produces graduates of character who possess critical-thinking skills and the competence necessary to compete in the global marketplace. As important, our graduates place value in community, becoming the type of person you want to call neighbor, colleague, and friend.”

Originally published in the Winter '13 issue of APU Life. Download the full issue (PDF).