RIVERSIDE, Calif. — La Sierra University is listed among the nation’s best western regional universities in U.S. News and World Report’s annual guide released Sept. 13, 2016, and has landed among the top 10 universities in that region for best value.
The university is tied for 50th place in the 15-state western region in the 2017 Best Colleges rankings, seven placements higher than last year’s ranking. The university is also 9th in that region for best value based on academic quality and the net cost of attendance last school year for a student who received the average level of need-based financial aid.
U.S. News classifies universities that offer a full range of undergraduate and master’s programs, but few, if any, doctoral programs, into North, South, Midwest and West regional lists. For the general Best Colleges listing, the 653 universities that meet the criteria as a regional university are ranked against their peers in their respective regions on a weighted scoring system that compares average first-year student retention rates, 2015 data for graduation rates, percentage of classes with under 20 students, student-faculty ratios and other factors. In this year’s western regional rankings, La Sierra moved up seven spaces from last year’s 57th placement, and is tied for 50th with Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth, Texas. There are a total 93 first-tier spots on the Best Regional Universities-West list, with some schools tied in various ranks.
“Our continued rise in the U.S. News ranking for western universities is a testament of our university’s ability to continue to seek effective strategies to serve our students with commitment and passion,” said Randal Wisbey, university president. “This has occurred because our university family—faculty, staff, administration, and trustees—have all focused energy on creating a climate that is effective for student learning and growth.
“I am also grateful to be part of a learning community that is recognized by the value we bring to student’s lives,” he said. “We serve many first-generation students, and it is particularly heartening to understand that their university education at La Sierra will not only be transformative for them, but also for their families and for their communities.”
La Sierra’s 9th ranking falls on a best value list comprised of 15 western regional universities lauded for offering quality education at a lower cost. La Sierra was the only Seventh-day Adventist school to make any of the best value lists, and the only western regional university in California’s Inland Empire to make the cut.
U.S. News used only those schools in or near the top half of their U.S. News ranking categories in creating the best value rosters. “U.S. News considers the most significant values to be among colleges that perform well academically,” the report stated.
“La Sierra’s 9th place ranking in the best value category speaks to our continued commitment to provide a transformative educational experience for our students, their families, and their communities,” said provost Joy Fehr. “Students who invest in their futures by earning a La Sierra degree are well equipped to make a positive difference in their world.”
In addition to these strong placements, La Sierra also tied with three other universities for third place on a list of 11 western regional universities for the largest proportion of international undergraduate students in 2015-16. La Sierra tallied 11 percent.
The university also tied at 27th with Texas Wesleyan University on a list of 2017 Best Colleges for Veterans in the western regional universities category based on the schools’ reported benefits for veterans.
The U.S. News best value ranking follows La Sierra’s high placement in Money Magazine’s Best Colleges lists published in July 2015. The university ranked eighth in the nation on a list of 50 universities and colleges around the country lauded by the magazine for adding the most value to students’ education by helping them exceed expectations.
The 2017 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankings can be accessed at www.usnews.com/colleges.
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