In the U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 College Rankings for Regional Universities South, The W is No. 1 in graduating students carrying the lightest debt load. The ranking shows students typically have $15,000 in loan debt after graduation and that 64% of freshman students receive federal loan assistance.
“With current concerns about the economy and rising prices, everyone is concerned about finances and debt,” The President Nora Miller said. “The W strives to make an excellent education affordable, and this No. 1 rating for Least Debt shows that to be true.”
The W also ranked 29th overall (14th among public institutions) in Ethnic Diversity and 42nd overall (28th among public institutions) in Highest Acceptance Rate. U.S. News & World Report doesn’t break schools into groups of comparable sizes or differentiate between public and private. Proprietary schools ranked are considered private.
In 2021, U.S. News & World Report named The W No. 4 in Top Public Performers on Social Mobility-Regional Universities South and No. 10 among Top Performers on Social Mobility-Regional Universities South. The university moved up to No. 4 as a Best Value School Value School among Public Regional Universities in the South. For the third-consecutive year, The W ranked No. 18 among Top Public-Regional Universities South.
In addition to the U.S. News & World Report rankings, The W was the second-highest ranked university in Mississippi on Washington Monthly’s 2021 Best Bang for the Buck: South.
In the 2022 rankings, the data is of loans owned by the U.S. Department of Education, which is the vast majority of student loans. Typical Total Debt After Graduation is the median cumulative amount borrowed by 2018 and 2019 graduates who took out federal loans. Freshmen Receiving Federal Loan is the percentage of first-time, full-time undergraduates who borrowed during the 2018-2019 academic year.
In its Ethnic Diversity category, U.S. News & World Report factors in the total proportion of minority students, leaving out international students, and the overall mix of groups. The data is drawn from each institution’s fall 2020 total undergraduate student body. The ethnic categories used in the calculations are non-Hispanic African American, Hispanic, American Indian, Pacific Islander/Native Hawaiian, Asian, non-Hispanic white and multiracial (two or more races). Students who did not identify themselves as members of any of those demographic groups were classified as non-Hispanic whites for the purpose of these calculations. The formula produces a diversity index that ranges from 0 to 1. The closer a school’s number is to 1, the more diverse the student population.
In its Acceptance Rate category, U.S. News & World Report ranked the top 100 schools with the highest acceptance rates for the fall 2020 entering class among all schools it surveyed.
In fall 2021, The W retained 75% of the fall 2020 full-time bachelor’s degree seeking, first-time freshmen and graduated or retained 83% of the fall 2020 full-time, bachelor’s degree seeking first-time transfers.