AZUSA, Calif.―Azusa Pacific University again secured a place in the National Universities category of U.S.News & World Report’s America’s Best Colleges 2011 rankings, alongside premier universities such as Harvard (No.1), Stanford (No. 5), and USC (No. 23). Ranked in Tier One at No. 167, APU tied with the University of Rhode Island and Virginia Commonwealth University. In addition, APU was 1 of 23 colleges recognized for best first-year experience.

“As we’re getting ready to welcome our largest incoming freshmen class, these rankings remind us of the quality of resources students rely on when selecting the college that best meets their needs,” said APU President Jon R. Wallace, DBA. “Today’s students are looking for excellent programs taught by world-class faculty, and this recognition by U.S.News affirms Azusa Pacific’s place among the best universities nationwide.”

APU was also the top ranked school among the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), followed closely by Biola University (La Mirada, Calif.) and George Fox University (Newberg, Ore.), both ranked No. 170.

U.S. News & World Report’s recognition of our first-year experience comes as no surprise given APU’s commitment to community and scholarship,” said David Dufault-Hunter, vice president of enrollment management. “We strive to create a welcoming campus environment that assists students in the transition to college. Our goal is to offer students support and care, while also challenging them in their educational journey.”

From 2000-06, APU was ranked in the Top 25 of the Western-Universities Master’s classification before rising up to the National Universities category in 2007. U.S. News also recognized APU as an up and coming university in 2008.

U.S.News & World Report annually ranks 1,400 schools, with the National Universities category including 262 American universities (164 public and 98 private) that offer a wide range of undergraduate majors, as well as master’s and doctoral degrees; many also strongly emphasize research. Seven primary areas are reviewed for this classification, including peer assessment, retention and graduation rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving, and graduation rate performance. For more information, visit www.usnews.com.