Ouachita Baptist University continues to be recognized among the top universities in the nation based on the recent release of annual college rankings by major publications.
This year’s ranking marks the third consecutive year that Ouachita has been named among U.S. News & World Report’s top tier of “Best National Liberal Arts Colleges.” It also is the fifth year in a row that Ouachita has been named among “America’s Top Colleges” by Forbes magazine.
Ouachita, which moved into U.S. News’ national rankings in 2011, previously was ranked for four years as the No. 1 Regional College in the South. Among this year’s best national liberal arts colleges, Ouachita is one of only three schools in Arkansas ranked by U.S. News in the top tier, along with Hendrix College and Lyon College.
“Consistency and excellence are two characteristics of Ouachita Baptist University,” said Ouachita President Rex Horne. “These were the first words to come to my mind when I saw that we were once again nationally ranked as a top tier university by Forbes magazine and U.S. News & World Report.”
The university’s national rankings “are a testament to the work of our faculty, students and staff,” Dr. Horne added. “Congratulations, Ouachita.”
According to U.S. News, national liberal arts colleges “emphasize undergraduate education and award at least half their degrees in the arts and sciences, which include such disciplines as English, the biological sciences, physics, chemistry, history, political science, foreign languages and the visual and performing arts.” Ouachita offers majors in seven academic schools in the disciplines of business, Christian studies, education, fine arts, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences.
Forbes’ annual ranking focus on “factors that directly concern today’s incoming students: Will my classes be interesting? Is it likely I will graduate in four years? Will I incur a ton of debt getting my degree? And once I get out of school, will I get a good job and be a leader in my chosen profession?”
In addition to naming Ouachita among “America’s Top Colleges,” Forbes ranked Ouachita’s financial health in the top 30 percent among more than 900 universities and colleges evaluated on several variables to determine financial strength and operational soundness.
Ouachita also is ranked by U.S. News among “A+ Schools for B Students” for the third consecutive year – the only national liberal arts college in the state to make the list. According to U.S. News, the A+ ranking features universities where B-level incoming students “have a decent shot at being accepted and thriving – where spirit and hard work could make all the difference.”
Noting that “our professors work diligently with young men and women to turn the students’ efforts now into excellence for life,” President Horne said, “This is affirmed by our A+ rating for B students.”
Ouachita also has been named among the nation’s top “Military Friendly Schools” by Victory Media. The list “honors the top 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans and spouses as students and ensure their success on campus.”
“Inclusion on the 2014 list of Military Friendly Schools shows Ouachita’s commitment to providing a supportive environment for military students,” said Victory Media Vice President Sean Collins. “The need for education is growing and our mission is to provide the military community with transparent, world-class resources to assist in their search for schools.”
The national recognitions come as Ouachita begins the 2013-14 academic year with a fall enrollment of 1,543 students from 29 states and 34 nations.
The 2013 fall semester total marks the fourth consecutive year the university’s fall enrollment has exceeded 1,500 students. Additionally, this fall’s incoming freshman class topped 390, an increase of more than 9 percent over the previous year.
Ouachita Baptist University, a private liberal arts university in Arkadelphia, Ark., has served since 1886 as a Christ-centered learning community. For more information, call 1-800-DIAL-OBU, visit www.obu.edu or download Ouachita’s mobile app.
By Trennis Henderson, OBU Vice President for Communications