By Taylor Budzikowski | Echo
Taylor University has held on to its title of Best Regional College for 11 of the past 12 years. In addition, Taylor has been among the top three schools for 22 consecutive years. The ranking is based upon first-year student retention, graduation rates and quality of faculty among other factors.
"U.S. News tells us nearly all of the elements that they use to come up with their totals each being a certain percent of the total score," University Research Analyst Steve Dayton said.
U.S. News ranks colleges and universities based on 16 separate measures to determine academic excellence of institutions. The ranking assesses academic quality of colleges and universities like Taylor based on statistics and expert opinion surveys.
Successful retention and graduation rates account for 35 percent of a college or university's final ranking. The
ranking places the highest weight in this area because degree completion reflects students' success in future occupations and graduate schools.
Whereas faculty resources such as class size, salary and credentials account for 20 percent of the ranking, U.S. News considers faculty-student ratio and the percent of faculty who have terminal degrees in their field as factors of importance in the survey.
"The fact that you get number one suggests that other people who are in higher education think highly of your school," Taylor University President P. Lowell Haines said.
Part of the ranking process requires university presidents, provosts and deans of administration to complete surveys that assess the academic quality of institutions of comparable statue to their own. These peer assessments count for 20 percent of the total ranking.
Institutions are also ranked on their financial resources, student excellence and alumni giving.
"I think I am gaining a greater appreciation for the ranking and just for Taylor as a whole the longer I am here," junior Molly Pile said.
Taylor University students and faculty are recognized for their pursuit of excellence in various areas of the U.S. News & World Report survey.
The ranking as Best Regional College reflects Taylor's past achievements, present pursuits and future endeavors.
"What I really want to do is get the word out because I think it benefits us all if others know that this little place out in the middle of the countryside in Indiana is such a remarkable institution of higher education, and more importantly, that it is one that is deeply rooted in its faith," Haines said.