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Ouachita earns No. 1 ranking from U.S. News for second straight year

August 22, 2008 - Trennis Henderson

Ouachita Baptist University has been named the No. 1 Baccalaureate College in the South for 2009 by U.S. News & World Report. Ouachita also was named the No. 1 “Great Schools, Great Prices” Baccalaureate College in the South in the annual ranking.

Ouachita’s top ranking among the 95 baccalaureate schools in its region is the second consecutive year that Ouachita has ranked No. 1 in that category. The university’s top ranking among “Great Schools, Great Prices” in the South is a step up from last year’s No. 2 ranking in that category.

“We’re honored by such a ranking from U.S. News & World Report’s prestigious annual study,” said Dr. Rex M. Horne Jr., president of Ouachita Baptist University. “What encourages us is the affirmation from the areas that we strongly emphasize such as strong academics, student retention and graduation rates. To be viewed highly by our peers is both encouraging and humbling.”

According to U.S. News & World Report, the annual survey of more than 1,400 colleges and universities includes “data from each college for up to 15 indicators of academic excellence. The indicators include input measures that reflect a school’s student body, its faculty and its financial resources, along with outcome measures that signal how well the institution does its job of educating students.”

The indicators are used to assess academic quality in seven key categories: assessment by administrators at peer institutions, student retention, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving and graduation rate performance.

Ouachita’s top ranking among baccalaureate schools in the South covers a 12-state region that stretches from Arkansas and Louisiana to Virginia and Florida. Erskine College in Due West, S.C., ranked second in the region and John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Ark., ranked third.

Dr. Horne noted that Ouachita’s No. 1 ranking for two consecutive years “shows that Ouachita is known as a strong academic institution in varied disciplines and academic programs.”

Ouachita offers majors in seven academic schools in the disciplines of business, Christian studies, education, fine arts, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences.

“You’re very proud when you’re named once as No. 1,” Horne added, “but to be honored in this way two years in a row is especially heartening to our campus and to the broader alumni and friends of Ouachita.”

Horne emphasized that Ouachita’s ranking as the top value among baccalaureate schools in the South also is significant.

“We are pleased that our institution is recognized as a great financial value,” he affirmed, adding that Ouachita seeks to “provide the resources for those who serve while keeping it affordable for those who choose to study here.”

According to U.S. News, the “Great Schools, Great Prices” rankings indicate that “the higher the quality of the program and the lower the cost, the better the deal.” The report also noted that “the most significant values are among colleges that are above average academically.”

Highlights of the college rankings will be published in the Sept. 1 issue of U.S. News & World Report, available Aug. 25 on newsstands. The 2009 America's Best Colleges guidebook will be available Aug. 26.

Prospective students interested in learning more about Ouachita Baptist University can visit http://obu.edu or contact OBU’s office of admissions counseling toll-free at (800) DIAL-OBU.

by Trennis Henderson

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