Averett University has been ranked as the no. 20 best regional liberal arts college in the south this year by U.S. News & World Report, the university’s highest ranking to date. In addition, Averett was named the ninth best regional college in the south for veterans in 2017.

Only three Virginia schools made the “2017 Regional Liberal Arts Colleges” list, and Averett was the only to make it in the top 20, retaining its position as the highest ranking Virginia regional college out of 56 total for the south. It is also the only Virginia school to rank among the “2017 Best Colleges for Veterans.”

“We are thrilled to be recognized again by this annual accolade – and at our highest ranking yet,” said Averett President Dr. Tiffany M. Franks. “Everything we do at Averett is centered on our students and their experience here, and this sort of honor helps remind us all why the investment they’ve made in us is truly valuable and life-changing. Our personalized approach to education and the unique ways in which we get students engaged are part of what makes Averett so special.”

For the 2017 regional list of schools, U.S. News evaluated schools that are heavily focused on the undergraduate experience and offer a broad range of programs in the liberal arts (which account for fewer than half of bachelor’s degrees granted) and in fields such as business, nursing and education. Because most of the 334 colleges in the category draw heavily from nearby states, they are ranked by region: North, South, Midwest and West.

U.S. News has produced the Best Colleges for Veterans rankings to provide military veterans and active-duty service members with data on which top-ranked schools offer benefits that can help them make pursuing a college education more affordable. These rankings only include numerically ranked schools in the 2017 edition of the U.S. News Best Colleges rankings that are in the top half of their U.S. News ranking category, and those that had 20 or more students who used GI Bill benefits to partially or fully finance their tuition and fees during 2015–2016.

“Averett has been recognized a number of times for being very military friendly, and the Best Colleges for Veterans ranking and other similar recognitions just reinforce the commitment we at Averett have to serving our women and men of the military,” Franks said.

In addition to this recognition, Averett was most recently named a 2016 Military Friendly School® by Victory Media; one of America’s most military-friendly colleges in 2015 by BestColleges.com; a top school in the 2015 Military Advanced Education Guide to Colleges and Universities; ranked in the top 20 percent of America’s most military-friendly schools by G.I. Jobs magazine for five consecutive years; and is the sole university recipient of the Dan Daniel-Military Resale Invitational Endowed Scholarship since 2012. Veterans and current members of the military (both active and reserve) have a number of options available to them through Averett, including a military discount for active duty military, accelerated classes at satellite campuses across the state (including a site at the Marine Corps Base at Quantico), competitive financial aid offerings to qualifying students, and dedicated and specialty support for active duty military, veterans and their families. Averett is a Yellow Ribbon Program and other GI Bill Chapters participant.

Since 1859, Averett University has grown and developed into a dynamic institution that serves students of all ages, offering more than 30 undergraduate majors, minors and special programs and three graduate programs with a number of concentrations. Dedicated to preparing students to serve and lead as catalysts for positive change, Averett enrolls almost 2,000 students from 25 states and 15 countries, with its historic main campus in southern Virginia and regional campuses throughout Virginia and online.

The college ranking categories are based upon the 2010 Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching classifications. The Carnegie classification system has been used by U.S. News since the first Best Colleges rankings in 1983, because it is accepted as the basis for classifying schools by most higher education researchers.

The rankings are freely available at www.usnews.com/collegemeth.