Virginia Tech ranked No. 70 in the nation

Originally published by the Collegiate Times as News.
Published in print edition, page 3, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015.

In the 2015 U.S. News & World Report, Virginia Tech ranked No. 70 of all national universities, tied with Texas A&M University, and No. 26 of public institutions. Both rankings are one position ahead from last year.

The report’s rankings review undergraduate programs in the fall and graduate programs in the spring. This year marks the 31st year for the U.S. News & World Report.

The Virginia Tech college of engineering ranked No. 8 among public institutions and No. 15 among all national institutions, defending its titles since last year and tying again with Texas A&M University.

“The thing about rankings is that it’s always a good thing when other people are talking about you and saying you’re pretty darn good,” said Mark Owczarski, assistant vice president for news and information.

Virginia Tech’s department of biomedical engineering and mechanics, which was established in 2014 as a product of a merge between the department of engineering science and mechanics and the biomedical engineering program, was ranked No. 4 among engineering science programs. Several of Virginia Tech’s engineering programs, including civil and industrial, were among the top 20 undergraduate engineering programs in the nation.

Along with the highly ranked school of engineering, the Pamplin College of Business earned a No. 27 spot among public universities and No. 43 among national institutions. The U.S. News & World Report went on to describe Virginia Tech as a “research powerhouse.”

School rankings are based on these measures: A formula for academic quality comprises 77.5 percent and is based on graduation rates, faculty information and admissions data. The remaining 22.5 percent is based on academic reputation determined by top college academics and high school counselors.

Surveys from high school counselors from more than 2,200 schools nationwide put Virginia Tech as one of the “High School Counselors’ Top Picks.” Virginia Tech’s welcoming military accommodations also put it as one of the “Best Colleges for Veterans.” Virginia Tech is new to both of these lists this year.

Data was collected from 16 areas related to the college experience and then weighted by the most important qualities from both spring and summer of 2015.

The ranking takes into account a variety of factors, including high school counselor score (4.1 out of 5 for Virginia Tech), average freshmen retention rate (92 percent), class sizes, student-faculty ratio (16:1), acceptance rate (72.6 percent) and graduation rate.

“Rankings are great but the ultimate connection is when the individual comes and explores and learns and you see yourself being a part of Virginia Tech,” Owczarski said. “We want students to come here and invent the future in a Virginia Tech way.”

From some of the best food on campus to the fittest students, Hokies continue to excel in every aspect of their experience and education, bringing dimension to the ranking and making this school much more than a number.

“We are who we are, and rankings are one of a hundred different ways you can learn about us,” Owczarski said. “What’s most important is that we attract the students that will be most successful and that they will continue to do wonderful things for the rest of their life.”

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