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Carolina ranks fifth among national public universities in the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings. The 2021 Best Colleges rankings also listed the University atop their best-value schools list among national public universities and 14th overall among both public and private institutions.
U.S. News assessed this year’s rankings by looking at 17 academic quality indicators, including graduate and retention rates; social mobility; faculty resources; academic quality assessments by peer institution presidents, provosts and deans; financial resources; student excellence; and alumni giving.
UNC was fifth among publics for the 20th year, and the cast ahead of it stayed unchanged: UCLA was first, followed by Cal-Berkeley, Michigan and Virginia.
Additional 2021 Best Colleges rankings for Carolina include:
U.S. News‘ metrics to assess academic quality puts the greatest emphasis on outcomes, particularly a college’s ability to retain and graduate students. Other factors include class size, undergraduate academic reputation and how much colleges spend on instruction and other educational investments.
Graduate indebtedness is a new metric added to the rankings this year to address families’ concerns about college affordability and the value of a degree. This factor takes into account the average amount of federal loan debt among graduating classes in 2019 at the bachelor’s level, as well as the proportion of graduates who took out federal student loans. To make room for these new measures, U.S. News has reduced the weight given to SAT/ACT scores, high school class standing and alumni giving rates.