VWU Named Among U.S. News 'Best Colleges' for 2023

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The University is again recognized as a top National Liberal Arts College and for its diversity and social mobility

University News | September 12, 2022

Virginia Wesleyan University has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report in three categories of its 2023 Best Colleges rankings, released September 12. VWU is again ranked among the top campuses in “Ethnic Diversity” for National Liberal Arts Colleges and is featured in the "Best National Liberal Arts Colleges” category. The University is also recognized as a “Top Performer on Social Mobility.”

This is the sixth consecutive year Virginia Wesleyan has been ranked among the most ethnically diverse National Liberal Arts Colleges. To identify colleges where students are most likely to encounter undergraduates from a different ethnic group from their own, U.S. News factored in the proportion of minority students—leaving out international students—and the overall mix of groups in each institution’s 2021-2022 academic year student body. The categories used in the calculations are African-American (non-Hispanic), Hispanic, American Indian, Asian-American, Pacific Islander, White (non-Hispanic), and multiracial (two or more races). The largest ethnic group at Virginia Wesleyan is African-American, representing 24 percent of the University’s student population.

“We are proud to hold this designation, as it represents the diverse, global community in which our University is located,” says Virginia Wesleyan University President Scott D. Miller. “We are a welcoming, inclusive campus with an outstanding, nationally prominent academic reputation—and we take pride in fostering the kinds of values and traditions that make our students proud to have chosen us for their career and life success.”

Methodology for the “Best National Liberal Arts Colleges" rankings focuses on academic excellence, with schools evaluated on hundreds of data points and up to 17 measures of academic quality. Overall, the rankings emphasize student outcomes such as graduation retention rates, which carry the most weight at 22 percent. The top National Universities and National Liberal Arts Colleges have significantly higher graduation and retention rates than other schools.

For the fourth year, U.S. News has recognized institutions as “Top Performers on Social Mobility.” Virginia Wesleyan is ranked alongside other National Liberal Arts Colleges in this category, which measures how well schools graduated students who received federal Pell Grants relative to the rest of the student body. 

U.S. News & World Report’s annual Best Colleges rankings help prospective students and their families research more than 1,450 U.S.-based colleges and universities.