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For the 12th Time, U.S. News Ranks Berea #1

U.S.News & World Report has named Berea College as the top Comprehensive College for a Bachelor’s Degree in the South for 2007.

This is the 12th time Berea College has earned the number one 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. More than 1,400 schools were ranked in this year’s survey. Berea’s score was a perfect 100, placing it at the top of its category.

In addition to the top spot for Comprehensive Colleges in the South, Berea College was nationally recognized again for having outstanding programs in ‘Service-learning’ and 'Internships.' Also, Berea received fourth-place rankings regionally for the least amount of student debt upon graduation and for low student acceptance rates, indicating both the affordability and the selectivity of Berea’s academic programs.

"Berea College seeks to educate service-oriented leaders for Appalachia and beyond,” says Berea College President Dr. Larry D. Shinn. “We find it 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. Such recognition both inspires us to continue our work as well as challenges us to seek further excellence.”

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. This year Berea was one of just 13 schools cited most often nationally for its internships program and one of 25 colleges cited most often for its service-learning program. Schools recognized as the best for Internships encourage students to apply what they are learning in the classroom through closely supervised internships or through cooperative education. In service-learning programs, volunteering in the community is an instructional strategy and a requirement of a student’s coursework.

The survey results were announced today and will appear in the year 2007 edition of the magazine's guide "America's Best Colleges,” which will be available on newsstands beginning Monday, August 21. The rankings also are available today on the U.S. News Web site (

Berea now has been ranked in 19 of the 21 "Best College" surveys conducted by U.S.News & 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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