South Carolina schools do well in News & Report rankings

Image by U.S. News & World Report and Flickr user turketwhImage by 20080822collegeguide.jpg College of Charleston, USC, and Clemson all did well, but what's in a number?

The 2009 guide to the nation's top schools is out from U.S. News & World Report.

And The Citadel and College of Charleston are glowing. The Citadel was ranked no. 5 for universities in the South with master's programs, and the College of Charleston received no. 9 ranking for the same category. C of C said in a press release:
In the annual report release today, the magazine ranked the College of Charleston number 9 among the 128 private and public southern universities that awards master’s degrees. The College was ranked number 4 for public colleges in the south.

The Citadel had this to say:
The Citadel was one of only two public colleges in the nation to earn a spot on the “Best Value” list for master’s degree granting institutions.

“We are very proud to be one of the best overall colleges in our category and a top value as well,” said President Lt. Gen. John W. Rosa. “The U.S.News recognition affirms our hard work providing a unique, high quality education that is dedicated to preparing principled leaders, while keeping costs as low as possible.”

And, in the more competitive national category: Clemson was ranked 61 in "National Universities" (no. 22 for public national universities), which bested USC's rank of 108 (no. 52 for public national universities). Only the top 130 national schools were ranked.

Just remember, these schools are ranked a thousand different ways and you'll hear them shouting No. 1 and No. 4 from all sorts of different categories. And they're all reasons to be proud, for sure, but it's easier to be in the top 10 when there's fewer in the boat. And, remember to look at why the school got ranked what it did. The No. 1 school can be a horrible fit for many students.

There's lots of info online about how the school ranking are computed, but in short it's a combination of (in order of importance in the ranking) peer assessment, retention, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, graduation rate performance, and (as schools are always remind you) alumni giving rate.

We're sure The Post and Courier, The State, and their ilk will have write-ups, too. We'll keep you posted.

Until then, go dig in the rankings for yourself. The print version will be available on Monday (August 25).

Update 5 p.m.: Report now has Citadel info.

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