Brenau jumps in U.S. News & World Report Rankings

Aug 26, 2011
Rudi Kiefer

In one of the nation’s best rating systems for higher education institutions, Brenau University moved up five places in the 2011 U.S. News & World Report rankings of best colleges and universities and for the sixth consecutive year placed in the top 15 ratings for best educational value in the 11-state southeastern region.

According to the magazine’s “Best regional Universities” survey made public today, Brenau moved from 34th to 29th among the 131 Southern colleges and universities listed. Only one other Georgia institution, Mercer University in Macon, ranked higher.

Brenau’s rankings appear among the magazine’s listings of colleges and universities whose highest academic programs lead to master’s degrees. The only other Georgia institution in the best value top 15, Mercer, offers doctoral and professional degrees, but not enough of those programs to have bumped the Macon-based university into the magazine’s doctoral degree-granting category.

The overall U.S. News 2011 rankings are based on assessments by all the university presidents surveyed, graduation rates, average admission test scores, faculty/student ratio and other criteria.

Brenau has made a steady climb in the ratings over the past few years. This year it tied with Western North Carolina University and Tennessee Technical University, jumping ahead of the public liberal arts institution, Georgia College and State University, in Milledgeville, which fell from 31st to 32nd in this year’s ratings. Mississippi College for Women, tied with Brenau in the 34th spot last year, fell to 35th. Mercer maintained the No. 8 position it has held for two years.

“The fact is that Brenau University offers top-quality undergraduate and graduate education at a great value,” said Brenau President Ed Schrader. “These ratings are bolstered by the fact that we are getting more and more inquires from prospective students for all levels and all campuses of the university and more and more applications from people who want to take advantage of the unique opportunity Brenau offers.”

The exclusive rankings in the 2011 edition of Best Colleges by U.S. News Media Group includes rankings of more than 1,400 schools nationwide, are available at, and will also be published in the September issue of U.S. News & World Report, on newsstands starting August 31.

Over the past two decades, the U.S. News college rankings, which group schools based on categories created by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, has grown to be the most comprehensive research tool for students and parents considering higher education opportunities.

The 2011 Best Colleges package provides the most thorough examination of how more than 1,400 accredited four-year schools compare on a set of up to 16 widely accepted indicators of excellence. Among the many factors weighed in determining the rankings, the key measures of quality are: peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving, and, for National Universities and National Liberal Art Colleges, “graduation rate performance” and high school counselor ratings of colleges. U.S. News has made some significant changes to the 2011 Best Colleges’ ranking methodology and presentation. For more details on these changes, go to

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Originally published on 9/13/10