Campbell climbs in US News & World Report's annual 'Best Colleges' ranking

Why JUST ranks top

BYU broke into the top 100 on the list back in September 2014, when it was ranked 62. It ranked fourth in last year's survey. The report evaluates colleges and universities annually by assessing criteria such as peer assessment, graduation rate, student/faculty ratios, class size, alumni giving, and student testing scores.

Georgia State also moved up from 14th to eighth, tied with Stanford University, among national universities cited for "an unusually strong commitment to undergraduate teaching".

The University of Alabama is in a tie at No. 51 on the public list and 110 on the other.

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The annual ranking was released Tuesday and has Princeton University in the No. 1 spot, followed directly by Harvard.

The only school in the Southeastern Conference in the top 10 was the University of Florida at No. 9.

BYU ranked just ahead of Clemson (59 points), Pittsburgh (58) and American University (57) and a five-way tie at 56 points between Rutgers, Texas A&M, Minnesota, Virginia Tech and Stevens Institute of Technology.

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As for the ranking of Utah's instate institutions, two - the University of Utah and Utah State University - earned placement in the National Universities category.

On the list, the University of Georgia was in a tie for No. 16 among public schools and in a tie at No. 54 on the national list.

Brian Kelly, editor and chief content officer of U.S. News, said prospective students and their families should research a school's graduation and retention rates, as they are "important indicators of how well a school supports its students both academically and financially". The business school and program rankings are based on a survey of deans and senior faculty at institutions across the country.

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Other publications - ranging from Money magazine to the Wall Street Journal - provide their own college rankings, as do a host of online sites.

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