U.S. News ranks Stetson University third among top universities in the South

Stetson University’s strong academic quality has earned it a ranking of third place among the South’s top regional universities in U.S. News & World Report’s 2013 edition of “Best Colleges.”

Stetson is also listed as one of the South’s “Great Schools, Great Prices,” based on academic quality and the average net cost after need-based financial aid, and one of the South’s “A-Plus Schools for B Students.”

Listed consistently as one of the South’s leading universities since the U.S. News survey of colleges and universities was first published in 1985, Stetson follows Rollins College in Florida and Elon University in North Carolina in the “Regional Universities” category. The category includes universities that provide a full range of undergraduate majors and master’s programs, but few, if any, doctoral programs. The 625 universities in the category are ranked by region – North, South, Midwest and West.

“Stetson takes pride at being recognized again this year as an academically rigorous institution,” said Stetson President Wendy B. Libby. “We give a personalized learning experience to each and every student, based on high-impact practices and focused on the learning outcomes of our students. In addition, everything we do at Stetson centers around our values of global citizenship, personal growth, intellectual development, and personal and social responsibility. We challenge our students to go beyond success, to significance in their communities, nation and world.”

“While we are interested in national rankings, we encourage prospective students and their parents not to base their selection of a university on just one measure such as the U.S. News rankings,” Libby said. “We invite you to visit Stetson, check out our small class sizes, the credentials of our faculty, the vibrancy of our campus and the quality of our academic programs.”

Stetson offers a personalized education, emphasizing active learning, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 12:1, in four colleges and schools – the College of Arts & Sciences, the School of Business Administration, the College of Law and the School of Music. The first private university in Florida to be awarded a chapter of the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa honorary society, Stetson educates 3,961 students at four locations across Central Florida – DeLand, Gulfport/St. Petersburg, Tampa and Celebration in the greater Orlando area.

This year, Stetson University welcomed its largest incoming class ever – for the second consecutive year – with 950 first-year and transfer students. Academic talent is exceptional this year. The Class of 2016 includes nine high school valedictorians and six salutatorians. Incoming students to the university’s competitive Honors Program number 52 this year; growth in that prestigious program has doubled over the past four years. As enrollment grows, Stetson continues to focus on student success and retention through a variety of strategies, including the move of the Academic Success Center to a larger facility this summer and opening of the new Stetson Math Clinic.

Numerous renovations and technology upgrades to classroom buildings, residence halls, parking areas and the campus landscape have been made over the past three years, and the new Stetson Cove apartments near campus opened in August. The athletics program has been expanded to include football (first season fall 2013) and women’s lacrosse (first season spring 2013), and the first group of football players arrived in August for a practice year.

U.S. News rankings are based on several key measures of quality including undergraduate academic reputation, retention, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, graduation rate performance and alumni giving rate. The rankings are posted on www.usnews.com/colleges and the publication is due to hit newsstands on Sept. 18.