KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The University of Tennessee slipped one place among Public Universities is the latest U.S. News and World Report rankings, which were released on Tuesday. UT tied with seven other universities at 47th in the nation.
Among the area's smaller schools, Carson-Newman University come in the Top 20 Best Regional Colleges in the South. Maryville College placed in the top tier for the fourth year in a row.
UT ranked 101st overall among national universities, standing pat from last year.
It did improve in several areas, including posting a higher 6-year graduation rate, increasing the number of classes with fewer than 20 students, faculty resources, and alumni giving. UT was also given a better assessment from high school counselors.
U.S. News slightly modified the way it scores schools, placing greater emphasis on graduation rates.
“We know that to make significant progress in our journey to the Top 25, we must improve our graduation rates,” said Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek. “We have made great progress in this area, and we continue to focus on this important goal."
The University is striving to meet former Gov. Phil Bredesen's challenge to grow into a Top 25 public research university by 2020.
"It was a challenge we gladly accepted," Cheek said. "That year we ranked 52nd among all public universities and 106th among all national universities. Since that time, the six-year graduation rate has improved from 60 to 66 percent and progress has been made in nine of the 11 broader measures," he said.
UT noted it’s Top 25 goals measure a broader set of data—including research and graduate education outcomes—against a specific set of peer institutions.
Carson-Newman University was ranked as the 12th best Regional College in the South. One of only two Tennessee schools to finish in the top 20. Earlier this month, the school pointed out it was named "Best in the Southeast," by the Princeton Review.
“Carson-Newman is a place of quality education, passionate instruction, and transformational experiences,” said Carson-Newman President Randall O’Brien. “We feel honored that U.S News & World Report recognizes this.”
Maryville College listed at 176 out of 248 national private and public liberal arts
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