Brown remains No.14 nationally, PC hits No. 1 regionally in U.S. News 2020 Best Colleges survey

Updated on Sept. 11, 2019 to clarify that colleges and universities are ranked only with other schools that fall into the same category.

PROVIDENCE COLLEGE has been ranked the No. 1 regional university in the North by U.S. News & World Report. / COURTESY PROVIDENCE COLLEGE
PROVIDENCE COLLEGE has been ranked the No. 1 regional university in the North by U.S. News & World Report. / COURTESY PROVIDENCE COLLEGE

PROVIDENCE – Brown University ranked No. 14 among top national universities and Providence College was deemed the No. 1 regional university in the north in the 2020 U.S. News & World Report annual Best Colleges survey released Monday.

For Brown, the national ranking remained unchanged from last year’s survey.

The next highest nationally ranked school from the region was the University of Rhode Island was No. 166 among top national universities, dropping from No. 157 in the 2019 ranking. The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth was tied for No. 218.

Princeton University and Harvard University ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, while Columbia University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Yale University tied for No. 3 in the top national universities category.

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PC’s top ranking among regional universities in the North was an improvement from its No. 2 position last year. Other area schools ranking in that category included: Bryant University at No. 7 in the North, Salve Regina at No. 23, Roger Williams University at No. 28 (tie), Johnson & Wales University at No. 80 and Rhode Island College at No. 116.

RIC also ranked No. 39 among top public universities in the North.

U.S. News ranked nearly 1,400 colleges and universities for the 35th edition of the rankings. To calculate the top schools, U.S. News focused on academic quality and placed emphasis on outcome measures – including graduation rates, retention rates and social mobility. Outcomes were the mostly highly weighted ranking factor, contributing 35% to each school’s overall score.

Brown ranked No. 16 among national universities in the best value category. U.S. News placed the total annual cost of attending Brown at $74,651, but the average cost after grants was $24,411, making the average percentage of discount 67%

URI ranked No. 121 in that category with a $46,797 total cost, which was reduced on average by 14% to $40,129 after grants.

On a regional level, Providence College was No. 10 best value among regional universities in the North. Total annual cost in 2018 was $67,300, but with an average discount of 45% the cost was $436,978 after grants.

Roger Williams checked in at No. 56 in the same category. Total cost of attending was $53,916 in 2018, which dropped on average to $38,791 after grants, a 28% discount.

Several local universities and colleges placed well in the category of best undergraduate teaching, a ranking of schools that have been deemed to have faculty with a strong commitment to undergraduate teaching.

In that category, Brown ranked No. 3 among national universities, while Providence College ranked No. 4, Bryant No. 17 and Salve Regina University No. 28 among regional universities in the North.

A new ranking of “top performers on social mobility” evaluated schools on which ones best serve underrepresented students. Using Pell Grants as a proxy measure, the ranking looks at enrollment and graduation rates of low-income students. Five area schools ranked high in that category:

UMass Dartmouth came in at No. 84 among national universities, while New England Institute of Technology was No. 34 (tie) and Rhode Island College was No. 55 (tie) among regional universities. Wheaton College was No. 82 (tie) and Stonehill College No. 199 among national liberal arts colleges.

A breakdown of regional universities and colleges and their top rankings in the U.S. News & World Report’s Best College Survey:

Brown University
(Each of the following rankings are in the National Universities category)
No. 14 in National Universities
No. 3 in Best Undergraduate Teaching (tie)
No. 16 in Best Value Schools
No. 15 in Most Innovative Schools
No. 224 in Top Performers on Social Mobility (tie)
No. 39 in Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs (At schools whose highest degree is a doctorate) (tie)
No. 12 in First-Year Experiences
No. 9 in Senior Capstone
No. 16 in Service Learning (tie)
No. 1 in Writing in the Disciplines
No. 45 in Study Abroad (tie)
No. 20 in Undergraduate Research/Creative Projects

Bryant University
(Each of the following rankings are in the Regional Universities North category)
No. 7 in Regional Universities North
No. 3 in Best Colleges for Veterans
No. 17 in Best Undergraduate Teaching (tie)
No. 64 in Best Value Schools
No. 8 in Most Innovative Schools (tie)
No. 156 in Top Performers on Social Mobility (tie)

Johnson & Wales University
(Each of the following rankings are in the Regional Universities North category)
No. 80 in Regional Universities North (tie)
No. 48 in Best Colleges for Veterans (tie)
No. 21 in Best Undergraduate Teaching (tie)
No. 67 in Best Value Schools
No. 82 in Top Performers on Social Mobility (tie)

New England Institute of Technology
(Each of the following rankings are in the Regional College North category)
No. 36-46 Regional Colleges North
No. 34 Top Performers on Social Mobility (tie)

Providence College
(Each of the following rankings are in the Regional Universities North category)
No. 1 Regional Universities North
No. 4 Best Undergraduate Teaching
No. 10 Best Value Schools
No. 12 in Most Innovative Schools (tie)
No. 156 in Top Performers on Social Mobility (tie)

Rhode Island College
(Each of the following rankings are in the Regional Universities North category)
No. 116 Regional Universities North (tie)
No. 55 Top Performers on Social Mobility (tie)
No. 39 Top Public Schools

Rhode Island School of Design
Unranked in arts schools

Roger Williams University
(Each of the following rankings are in the Regional Universities North category)
No. 28 in Regional Universities North (tie)
No. 56 in Best Value Schools
No. 21 in Most Innovative Schools (tie)
No. 166 in Top Performers on Social Mobility
No. 97 in Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs (tie)
(At schools where doctorate not offered)

Salve Regina University
(Each of the following rankings are in the Regional Universities North category)
No. 23 Regional Universities North (tie)
No. 11 Best Colleges for Veterans (tie)
No. 28 Best Undergraduate Teaching (tie)
No. 31 in Best Value Schools
No. 114 in Top Performers on Social Mobility (tie)

Stonehill College
(Each of the following rankings are in the National Liberal Arts Colleges category)
No. 124 National Liberal Arts Colleges (tie)
No. 199 Top Performers on Social Mobility
No. 380 Business Programs

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
(Each of the following rankings are in the National Universities category)
No. 218 National Universities (tie)
No. 84 Top Performers on Social Mobility (tie)
No. 105 Top Public Schools (tie)
No. 134 in Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs (tie)
(At schools whose highest degree is a doctorate)

University of Rhode Island
(Each of the following rankings are in the National Universities category)
No. 166 National Universities (tie)
No. 121 Best College for Veterans (tie)
No. 121 Best Value Schools
No. 204 in Top Performers on Social Mobility (tie)
No. 79 in Top Public Schools (tie)
No. 120 in Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs (tie)
(At schools whose highest degree is a doctorate)

Wheaton College
(Each of the following rankings are in the National Liberal Arts Colleges category)
No. 82 National Liberal Arts Colleges (tie)
No. 68 Best Value Schools
No. 86 Top Performers on Social Mobility (tie)

William Hamilton is PBN staff writer and special projects editor. You can follow him on Twitter @waham or email him at hamilton@pbn.com.

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