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#1 ... for the 11th Time

U.S.News and World Report has named Berea College the best Comprehensive College for a Bachelor’s Degree in the South for 2006. This is the 11th time Berea College has earned a top ranking in the publication. To determine a school's overall rank, U.S. News considered academic reputation, retention, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving rate.

In addition to the top spot for Comprehensive Colleges in the South, Berea College was again among colleges and universities recognized nationally for having outstanding programs in ‘Service-learning’ and ‘Internships/Co-ops.’ Berea also was ranked fourth for the least amount of student debt upon graduation.

"Berea College has sought to educate service-oriented leaders for Appalachia and beyond for 150 years,” said Berea College President Dr. Larry D. Shinn. “In this our Sesquicentennial year it is deeply rewarding to have our peers in higher education acknowledge Berea's unique history and contemporary accomplishments in their U.S.News & World Report assessments. Those of us who work and learn at Berea are both humbled and honored by this recognition."

College presidents, chief academic officers and deans of students from throughout the country nominated colleges and universities with stellar examples of academic programs that are believed to lead to student success. Berea was one of 19 cited most often for its service-learning program and one of 12 cited most often for its internship/coop program. In service-learning programs, volunteering in the community is an instructional strategy and a requirement of a student’s coursework. Schools recognized as the best for Internships/ Co-ops encourage students to apply what they’re learning in the classroom through closely supervised internships or through cooperative education.

The survey results were announced today and will appear in the year 2006 edition of the magazine's guide "America's Best Colleges” which will be available on newsstands Monday, August 22. The rankings also are available today on the U.S.News Web site (

Berea now has been ranked in 18 of the 20 "Best College" surveys conducted by U.S.News and World Report magazine. Last year, Berea also was ranked best Comprehensive College for a Bachelor’s Degree in the South. In 2000, Berea College was named the best liberal arts college in the South, and for five consecutive years (1989-93), Berea was third among colleges and universities in the South. In 1987 and '88, the College was No. 1 in the category of small comprehensive colleges, and in 1985, was first among small colleges in the South and Border States.

In 1995, U.S. News ranked Berea fifth on the list of best regional universities in the South and first in regional universities showing "an unusually strong commitment to undergraduate teaching" -- the first year the magazine recognized that category. Rankings in 1994 and 2001 listed Berea among the best liberal arts colleges in the nation. No survey was conducted in 1986.

Berea College has a long tradition of commitment to high-quality academic programs, equality and interracial education, service to the Appalachian region, a unique work-study program, and inclusive Christian values. The College is further distinguished by its no-tuition policy, awarding the equivalent of a full-tuition scholarship to every student admitted, serving students who have high academic potential, but limited financial resources.

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