Belmont rises to No. 7 in ‘U.S. News’ rankings
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Belmont rises to No. 7 in ‘U.S. News’ rankings

Belmont President Bob Fisher has a new mantra: ’”Seven is the perfect number—until we reach six!”

He’s referring to Belmont’s No. 7 spot in the recent U.S. News and World Report’s America’s Best Colleges 2010 rankings for Best Universities Master’s level South, a four-point leap from last year’s No. 11.

Belmont was also honored for the second year in a row as one of the top two schools nationwide for “leading the pack in improvements and innovative changes.”

“What a day for Belmont!,” Fisher said in a press release issued by the university.  “To be recognized so highly and in so many categories is a true compliment to our entire university, particularly our dedicated and gifted faculty. “

Belmont is the highest-ranked Tennessee school in the Master’s category, which reports on 117 schools across the South, including 15 in Tennessee.

The rankings in America’s Best Colleges 2010 are based on several quality indicators including peer assessments, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving. For this year, Belmont showed strong increases in its overall score, its average graduation rate, alumni giving and the strength of its freshman class.

Provost Dr. Marcia McDonald said Belmont’s growing national reputation and strong academic programs is attracting an increasingly talented applicant pool.

“Our freshman last year averaged 26 on the ACT, and 70 percent were in the top quarter of their high school graduating class,” McDonald said. “Our peer institutions are recognizing that Belmont is not only attracting these high-caliber students, but is also engaging them intellectually, spiritually, socially and creatively.”

In addition to its No. 7 ranking, Belmont landed a ranking of third in its category for its strong commitment to undergraduate teaching, one of only 80 colleges and universities nationwide to be honored by its peers for this aspect of academic life.

Yet another noteworthy accomplishment was that three components of Belmont’s nationally recognized and innovative general education program were identified as “outstanding examples of academic programs that are commonly linked to student success”; Belmont’s First-Year Experience, Learning Communities, and Senior Capstone were all featured as “stellar examples” and demonstrate Belmont’s ongoing commitment to engage students in key issues affecting their lives.

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