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‘Up and coming’ colleges and universities for 2014

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Each year, college presidents, provosts, and admissions deans are asked by U.S. News to nominate up to ten colleges making “the most promising and innovate changes in the areas of academics, faculty, student life, diversity and facilities.” The resulting four lists label a handful of colleges as “up-and-coming” in various U.S. News categories.

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For purposes of college search, the question asked of college administrators probes for schools that are evolving in ways that may not be immediately evident to college-bound students and their parents. And the resulting lists are useful in ways that other lists are not because they surface colleges that don’t always come up high in “selectivity” or “prestige.”

For the past several years, the University of Maryland—Baltimore County (UMBC) has topped the national university list, while George Mason University and Virginia Commonwealth University continue to secure places among the top 14. Roanoke College and Richmond University are considered up-and-coming liberal arts colleges, at the same time Christopher Newport and Loyola Maryland are listed among the “regional” universities.

“At Loyola we are committed to innovation and excellence in the living learning experience—and this latest U.S. News ranking affirms that,” said Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J., Loyola’s president. “Students choose Loyola because they know we offer that distinctive experience to exceptional students from across the country and all over the world.”

Like other rankings, the lists of “up-and-coming colleges” should only be used as conversation starters. These are schools that have crept onto the radar of college administrators for some reason and could be interesting based on innovations in programming or improvements in facilities.

The value of a college’s location on the list is less important than the fact that they’ve made it onto the list at all. Someone, somewhere thinks they might offer something new or different.

Here are both the national universities and liberal arts colleges US News lists as ‘up-and-coming’ for 2014 (in alphabetical order):

  • Allegheny College
  • Arizona State University
  • Beloit College
  • Berry College
  • Boston University
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Clemson University
  • College of St. Benedict
  • Drexel University
  • George Mason University
  • Georgia State University
  • Hendrix College
  • Indiana University—Purdue University Indianapolis
  • Juniata College
  • Marquette University
  • North Carolina State University—Raleigh
  • Northeastern University
  • Portland State University
  • Purdue University—West Lafayette
  • Roanoke College
  • San Diego State University
  • Tulane University
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of Cincinnati
  • University of Denver
  • University of Maryland—Baltimore County
  • University of Richmond
  • University of South Florida
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Vermont
  • Ursinus College
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Wofford College
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