Guilford included in numerous prestigious rankings

Each year, Guilford College is mentioned in various college guides that recognize its outstanding efforts in areas ranging from environmental friendliness to community outreach and academics to student life.

Guilford appeared in several college guides for the 2013–2014 school year, compiled by U.S. News & World Report, The Princeton Review, Forbes and the Washington Monthly. Rankings were based upon a range of qualifications that reflect on student satisfaction.

“Guilford is proud to be listed among the best colleges in a number of guides every year,” said Ty Buckner, associate vice president for communications & marketing, in an email interview. “We’ve been in Princeton Review’s guide every year it has been published, longer than any other school in our region.”

U.S. News & World Report ranked Guilford as 173rd out of 248 liberal art schools in their “National Liberal Arts Colleges Rankings.”

This category highlights institutions that emphasize undergraduate education and award at least half of their degrees to liberal arts programs.

Rankings for U.S. News are generally based on seven measures: academic reputation, student selectivity, faculty resources, retention rate, financial resources, alumni donations and graduation rate. This information is collected through a 600-question survey that the Institutional Research Department fills out each year.

The Princeton Review placed Guilford on three separate lists this year: “Best 378 Colleges in the Southeast,” “Best College Radio Station” and “Reefer Madness.”

The Princeton Review’s “Best 378 Colleges in the Southeast” ranks schools from Virginia to Florida and westward to Louisiana.

These rankings were positioned according to academic reputation, which was acquired through feedback from college administrators, students, faculty and parents.
Guilford appeared more frequently on national lists, while its competitors were featured on regional lists for the same categories.

Each year, The Princeton Review travels from school to school, interviewing students to develop an accurate depiction of student life.

Thanks to positive student feedback, Guilford’s completely student-run radio station, WQFS, has been featured on The Princeton Review’s list 10 out of the past 11 years. This year, WQFS moved up from 11th to 6th.

“It’s exciting to be one of the only stations from the South mentioned on this list,” said senior Kate Schwab, WQFS general manager.

The station’s success can be credited to Schwab, as well as the student managers, faculty advisor Kami Rowan and the station’s DJs.

“Kate Schwab has done a great job managing the station,” said senior Mace Smith. “The fact that she has been a manager for coming up on three years has been good in terms of the continuity in keeping the station moving forward.”

The “Reefer Madness” list ranks the top 20 schools in the country where students regularly smoke marijuana. Guilford appeared at 18th on this year’s list, down from 16th in the previous year.

“I don’t know how accurate the ranking is, but I feel like as a whole, many students participate in smoking marijuana,” said junior Joshua Williams.

This year, Forbes provided an overall ranking of Guilford at 434th out of 650 schools on the “America’s Top Colleges” list, down from 387th in 2012. Guilford was also rated 19th among North Carolina Schools, 98th among Southern schools and 294th among private colleges.

These rankings were based on retention rate, alumni salaries, student debt, graduation rate and academic success.

Washington Monthly ranked Guilford 126th this year, which is significantly lower than its 29th place ranking last year. Rankings are based on the school’s contributions to the public good through social mobility, research and service.

According to Washington Monthly’s 2013 College Guide, Guilford didn’t excel in as many of these categories, which may have attributed to its plunge on the list. Namely, Guilford’s number of Pell grants and graduation rates that have dropped since last year.

“Our number one reason for not being higher is that we don’t have as much money or resources,” said Kent Grumbles, director of institutional research and assessment.

Still, Guilford’s rankings were impressive considering its modest endowment.