MEMPHIS – Christian Brothers University (CBU) continues to claim its place among the Top Tier of Southern Universities according to U.S. News and World Report’s 2023-2024 edition of “Best Colleges.” U.S. News publishes the “Best Colleges” rankings each year to provide prospective students and their families with helpful data and information on factors such as graduation rates, social mobility, and graduate indebtedness.

Using a proprietary methodology, the annual U.S. News and World Report rankings represent a comprehensive look at how schools stack up based on a set of widely accepted indicators of academic excellence from more than 1,500 accredited four-year schools. Colleges and universities in each category are ranked against their peers, based on their composite weighted score.

Best Southern Regional Universities: CBU is ranked 13th of 136 schools included among the Southern Regional Universities category in the U.S. News methodology, which is based upon classifications created by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Regional Universities are defined as those offering a broad scope of undergraduate degrees and master’s degree programs but few, if any, doctoral programs. CBU has risen five levels from its 2022-2023 U.S. News rankings in this category.

“It is an honor, albeit a fully expected honor, to once again be ranked among the Best Southern Universities by U.S. News and World Report — especially since CBU has risen in their rankings this year,” said David L. Archer, CBU President. “These rankings serve as further evidence of the outstanding quality of a CBU education, but they also point to the excellent outcomes that a CBU education provides for our graduates, to our exceptional faculty and our small class sizes, and to the affordability and financial value of a CBU education.”

Best Value: CBU is ranked third for Best Value among the Top Tier of Southern Universities. This ranking considers CBU’s academic quality, based on its U.S. News Best Colleges ranking, in relation to the net cost of attendance for a student who received the average level of need-based financial aid. The higher the quality of the program and the lower the cost, the better the deal. Only schools in or near the top half of their U.S. News ranking categories are included because U.S. News considers the most significant values to be among colleges that perform well academically.

Social Mobility: CBU has risen to 12th among the 135 schools included among the Southern Regional Universities category as a top performer on Social Mobility, ten levels above its ranking last year. This category recognizes universities that advance social mobility by enrolling and graduating large proportions of disadvantaged students awarded with Pell Grants. Most of these federal grants are awarded to students whose adjusted gross family incomes are under $50,000, though most Pell Grant money goes to students with a total family income below $20,000. During the period that U.S. News studied student cohorts for this ranking, 37% of CBU students were Pell recipients, and of those, 50% graduated.

“CBU’s higher ranking in the U.S News Social Mobility category echoes the recent report by the New York Times that ranked us 16th in the entire nation among colleges with the greatest economic diversity,” said President Archer. “It is indicative of our commitment to the Lasallian mission to make education available to all, which not only includes its foundational principle of inclusivity but also our dedication to making that education affordable.”

Best Undergraduate Teaching: CBU also ranked in a selective new category that U.S. News introduced in this year’s “Best Colleges” listings, being recognized as a tie for 13th among the 19 schools from the Southern Regional Universities category who were nominated for Best Undergraduate Teaching. Per the U.S. News Methodology, this ranking “focuses on universities whose faculty and administrators are committed to teaching undergraduate students in a high-quality manner.” Nominations and rankings were made by college presidents, provosts, and admissions deans who participated in the annual U.S. News peer assessment survey.

“This ranking recognizes the essential core of Christian Brothers University,” said Dr. Lydia Rosencrants, CBU’s interim Vice President for Academics. “CBU was founded by the De La Salle Christian Brothers teaching order, and one of its founding principles is ‘quality education.’ Teaching is literally the reason we are here. Our faculty prepares our students not only for passing exams but for a career and for a full and rewarding life.”

Ethnic Diversity: For students who are interested in a multicultural environment, CBU ranks sixth among Southern Regional Universities for Campus Ethnic Diversity, with a 44% minority enrollment. CBU’s current undergraduate student body is approximately 28% Caucasian, 19% Black, 11% Hispanic, 3% Asian, 10% two or more races, and 29% unknown, international, or other. 

Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs: CBU’s School of Engineering was once again ranked among the Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs by U.S. News. The engineering program rankings were based solely on peer assessment surveys. To appear on an undergraduate engineering survey, a school’s program must be accredited by ABET and offer the bachelor’s or master’s as its highest engineering degree.