Furman University climbed five spots to No. 46 in the 2020 U.S. News & World Report rankings of the “Best National Liberal Arts Colleges,” released today. Among such universities, Furman also rose significantly in the “Most Innovative Schools” ranking, climbing 16 places to No. 5, and “Best Undergraduate Teaching,” rising 27 spots to No. 12. Furman again ranked No. 3 for “Best Colleges for Veterans.”
The overall ranking of 46th places Furman among the top quarter of the 223 national liberal arts and sciences colleges and universities the magazine includes in its rankings. Among all universities in the country, Furman ranked No. 34 for “Undergraduate Research/Creative Projects” and No. 51 for “First-Year Experiences.”
“The U.S. News and World Report rankings are just one measure of the innovative, high-quality education that Furman offers, recognizing the talent and hard work we see daily in our students, faculty and staff,” said Furman President Elizabeth Davis. “The ingredients that make up The Furman Advantage are reflected in these rankings.”
The “most innovative” ranking is decided by university leaders. U.S. News asks university presidents, provosts and deans of admissions to list schools that demonstrate “cutting-edge changes” in the areas of curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology or facilities.
In 2016, Furman launched The Furman Advantage to create highly individualized, engaged learning experiences for every student. Furman partnered with Gallup to measure The Furman Advantage’s progress and provide feedback to help the university fine-tune the program. One result of this study is a commitment to enhancing support for students to make successful matches after they graduate, either in their professional careers or in graduate school.
“Around the country, people are taking notice of our creativity and our determination to provide students the most impactful experience possible, not just for their education but also in preparation for life after Furman,” said Davis, who received the 2018 William M. Burke Presidential Award for Excellence in Experiential Education.
According to U.S. News, Furman made significant strides in boosting several of the metrics used to determine the rankings, including enhancing its academic profile, increasing financial and faculty resources, improving student retention, and continuing to reduce class sizes. Since launching The Furman Advantage, the university has risen from 53 to 46 in the Best National Liberal Arts Colleges ranking.