U.S. News ranks Harding University among South’s best for 22nd year

Harding University has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best universities in the South for the 22nd consecutive year. The rankings are in the magazine’s 2016 Best Colleges guidebook, which hits newsstands Sept. 29.

The University ranked 22nd this year and was the only Arkansas institution included among the top 25 regional universities in the South behind such notable schools as Rollins College, The Citadel, Samford University, Stetson University, James Madison University and Mercer University.

The report also ranked Harding at No. 4 on its “Great Schools, Great Prices” list as a best value among schools in the South. Harding was the only school in Arkansas included in the top 15 of the regional university category.

Harding is included in the Best Regional Universities category, which comprises schools that offer a full range of undergraduate- and master’s-level programs and some doctoral programs. The 618 universities in this category were ranked against their peer groups in one of four geographic regions — North, South, Midwest and West.

The 12 states included in the magazine’s southern region include colleges from West Virginia to Florida and from Arkansas to the East Coast. Harding is the highest-ranked Arkansas school in this category.

“It’s exciting to see that an organization being as unbiased as possible ranks Harding as one of the premier institutions in the country,” said Glenn Dillard, assistant vice president for enrollment management. “It confirms what we believe — that Harding offers a world-class education in a Christian environment.”

To determine the rankings, the magazine evaluated universities across the nation in areas such as graduation rate, peer assessment, retention of students, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving rate.