Western Carolina University is featured prominently – including a top 10 ranking – in regional and national categories of U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges of 2020” guidebook, released Sept. 9.

“The latest rankings from U.S. News & World Report provide another compelling piece of evidence reinforcing the fact that Western Carolina University offers a very high-quality education at an affordable cost,” WCU Chancellor Kelli Brown said. “As a regional comprehensive university, WCU is a place where many first-generation and rural students go to obtain their degrees toward the goal of achieving a better quality of life than their parents.”

The 2020 edition of the guidebook offers comprehensive advice for researching college choices, providing a “smart shortlist” of schools. The rankings are based on a variety of indicators, including assessment by administrators at peer institutions, graduation rates, retention of students, faculty resources, average class size, student-faculty ratio, student selectivity and financial resources.

Unless indicated otherwise, the rankings include both public and private schools.


WCU in regional rankings:

• Top Public Universities – 10th, moving up from 11th last year.

• Best for Vets – 12th, after being 24th last year.

• Best Value – 14th (new category).

• Top Performers on Social Mobility – 20th (new category).

• Top Regional Universities – 23th, up from 34th last year.


WCU in national rankings:

• Best Undergrad Engineering Programs – 97th.

• Best Undergrad Business Programs – 380th.

The rankings are based on information collected from nearly 1,400 institutions during spring 2019 via the U.S. News & World Report’s annual statistical survey.

Open House events are held at WCU throughout the year. More information is available by going to openhouse.wcu.edu or by calling the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at 227-7317.