Thursday, Aug. 20, was no ordinary day on the campus of Ouachita Baptist University. In addition to dedicating a $26 million, state-of-the-art Student Village, Ouachita was ranked the No. 1 Baccalaureate College in the South for the third consecutive year by U.S. News & World Report.
Ouachita also was named the No. 1 “Great Schools, Great Prices” Baccalaureate College in the South for the second year in a row, reflecting the university’s outstanding economic value.
With today’s release of the 2010 rankings, Ouachita is once again the only university in Arkansas to earn a No. 1 rating among the major categories in the highly regarded U.S. News analysis. The university’s top results come among 96 baccalaureate schools in a 12-state region that stretches from Arkansas to Florida. Ouachita also ranked among the top five baccalaureate schools in the South in graduation rate.
“We are most pleased to be recognized for the third straight year as the No. 1 Baccalaureate College in the South,” said Ouachita President Rex M. Horne, Jr., “The rankings found in U.S. News & World Report are anticipated each year. This is a great honor for everyone associated with our university.
“I am also gratified to note that our academic excellence is complemented by our value,” Dr. Horne added. “This is the second year we have been listed first among ‘Great Schools, Great Prices’ for baccalaureate institutions in the South.
“All who study and serve at Ouachita welcome this news and welcome the recognition our university receives because of these rankings,” he emphasized. “We have a great legacy and an exciting present.”
According to U.S. News & World Report, the annual survey of more than 1,400 colleges and universities includes “data from each college for up to 15 indicators of academic excellence. … The indicators include input measures that reflect a school’s student body, its faculty and its financial resources, along with outcome measures that signal how well the institution does its job of educating students.”
The indicators are used to assess academic quality in six key categories: assessment by administrators at peer institutions, student retention and graduation rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving.
Ouachita is “known as a strong academic institution in varied disciplines and academic programs,” Dr. Horne pointed out. OBU offers majors in seven academic schools in the disciplines of business, Christian studies, education, fine arts, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences.
According to U.S. News, the “Great Schools, Great Prices” rankings indicate that “the higher the quality of the program and the lower the cost, the better the deal.” The report also noted that “the most significant values are among colleges that are above average academically.”
Highlights of the college rankings will be published in the September issue of U.S. News & World Report, available Aug. 24 on newsstands. The 2010 America’s Best Colleges guidebook will be available Aug. 25.
As fall classes get under way next week, Ouachita also celebrated the dedication of the university’s new Student Village. The facility features two residential halls encompassing 12 residentially scaled four-story houses that will house more than 350 students. Amenities include two first-floor lobbies and four upper-level terraces as well as study, fitness, theater and game rooms.
Prospective students interested in learning more about Ouachita Baptist University can visit www.obu.edu or contact OBU’s office of admissions counseling toll-free at (800) DIAL-OBU.
By Trennis Henderson, OBU Vice President for Communications