US News Cites Hollins for Value, Social Mobility Among National Liberal Arts Colleges

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Hollins University’s success in blending educational excellence with affordability, and its track record for graduating Pell Grant-awarded students, have earned recognition in the new U.S. News 2021 Best Colleges.

The college guide ranks Hollins as the #44 Best Value School and #21 in the list of Top Performers on Social Mobility among National Liberal Arts Colleges.

“To determine which colleges and universities offer the best value for students, U.S. News and World Report factors academic quality and cost after accounting for total expenses and financial aid,” the guide notes. “The social mobility ranking is computed from the two ranking factors assessing graduation rates of students who received federal Pell Grants (those typically coming from households whose family incomes are less than $50,000 annually, though most Pell Grant money goes to students with a total family income below $20,000).”

Hollins is ranked #102 overall in the National Liberal Arts Colleges category, and is also considered an A-plus School for B Students.

“Since the U.S. News rankings are a gauge of excellence,” the guide explains, “schools had to first be ranked in the top three-fourths of their 2021 Best Colleges ranking category to be eligible for the A-plus Schools for B Students ranking list. The average freshman retention rate – the percentage of first-year students who returned for their sophomore year – was also calculated for first-year classes entering between fall 2015 and fall 2018; schools that made the first cut had to bring an average of at least 75% of their freshmen back the next fall. This freshman retention rate value can be an important indicator of student satisfaction.

“In addition to passing the first two screens, to make the final cut of A-plus Schools for B Students, colleges had to admit a meaningful proportion of students who didn’t get straight A’s.”

The 2021 Best Colleges rankings were released to the public on September 14.