NASHVILLE, TN—Two months after Welch College changed its name from Free Will Baptist Bible College, the name Welch College appeared for the first time in U.S. News & World Report ranked 42nd among “Best Regional Colleges” (South Region) in U.S. News’ 2013 edition of America’s Best Colleges guidebook. The numerical ranking of 42nd in the 2013 South Region was driven by a high graduation rate, peer assessment scores, and strong alumni giving. Highlights of college rankings will be published in the September 18, 2012, issue of U.S. News.
President Matt Pinson said, “This is exactly what we hoped to see happen when the college name change occurred—immediate national recognition as a top quality educational institution. We are so pleased that Welch College is not only ranked among America’s best colleges but is creating name- recognition that will attract prospective students and their parents. This confirms that the college’s academic programs are recognized by the broader academic community as well as our supporters. It’s also another reminder that Welch College delivers on its educational promise.”
The “Best Regional Colleges” category where Welch College is ranked includes 370 institutions that focus on undergraduate education and offer a range of degree programs in the liberal arts, and in professional fields such as business, nursing, and education. Colleges in this category are ranked within four geographic regions: North, South, Midwest, and West.
U.S. News rankings offer opportunity to judge the relative quality of institutions based on widely accepted indicators of excellence: peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving, and more.
Welch College received especially high marks in five strategic areas—percent of freshmen in top 25% of high school class (57%), percent of classes with under 20 students (89%), student/faculty ratio (9/1), freshman retention rate (62%), and graduation rate (51%).
Provost Greg Ketteman said, “We are so pleased that Welch College is included in U.S. News’ list of best colleges. Our dedicated faculty and staff pour their lives into our students. They make a difference that matters. Our goal is to create a stimulating learning environment for our students where education is more than books and classes. At Welch College, we are truly a community of faith and learning. We want every Free Will Baptist student to consider Welch College first when looking for a college.”
More information is available about the rankings and methodology in the annual America’s Best Colleges guidebook at: www.usnews.com/collegemeth.