Chipola makes U.S. News Best Colleges list

MARIANNA—The latest U.S. News and World Report Best College Rankings are good news for Chipola College.

Chipola was 10th on the list of Top Public Schools in the South and number 52 among the Best Regional Colleges in the South.

Chipola President Dr. Jason Hurst, said, “We are extremely honored to learn of our U.S. News Best Colleges ranking. We work every day to provide high quality education to our students. Our faculty and students should be proud to be recognized for their work.”

In the Top Public Schools in the South ranking, Chipola was tied for 10th with Bluefield State College (WV) and Georgia Gwinnett College. The Public Schools category includes colleges and universities that typically operate under the supervision of state governments and are funded, in part, by tax dollars and subsidies from the state. Public schools run the gamut from small liberal arts colleges to large research institutions.

On the Best Regional Colleges in the South list, Chipola College was number 52. High Point University (NC) was first, and Flagler College (FL) was second. Regional Colleges focus on undergraduate education but grant fewer than 50 percent of their degrees in liberal arts disciplines; this category also includes schools, such as Chipola, that have small bachelor’s degree programs but primarily grant two-year associate degrees.

While many national websites and publications now draft their own college rankings, U.S. News and World Report’s is among the most popular. U.S. News creates the yearly rankings by using academic factors like class size, student to faculty ratio, and opinions from education experts. But the biggest factor was graduation rate and retention rate. “These are important indicators of how well a school supports its students both academically and financially,” Brian Kelly, editor and chief content officer of U.S. News, said in a press release. “Getting into a good school means nothing if you cannot graduate.”

U.S. News gathers data on up to 15 indicators of academic excellence to create the rankings. Each factor is assigned a weight, and colleges in each category are ranked based on their composite weighted score. Rankings are based on the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education which has been the basis of the Best Colleges rankings since they was first published in 1983.

The indicators used to capture academic quality fall into a several categories: graduation and first-year student retention rates, assessment by administrators at peer institutions, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving and graduation rate performance 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 educates students. Chipola was included in the rankings as an ACT/SAT test optional school. Chipola uses test scores for placement in mathematics and writing courses.

The rankings that include Chipola College are available at:

Chipola is designated as a state college in the Florida College System. Established in 1947, Chipola offers the Bachelor of Science Degree, the Associate in Arts Degree, the Associate in Science Degree and Workforce Development programs. Its in-state tuition and fees are $3,120 (2015-16); out-of-state tuition and fees are $8,950 (2015-16). Chipola offers in-state tuition to Alabama and Georgia residents.

For information about Chipola College, visit or phone 850-526-2761.

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