Spelman top of the class in U.S. News rankings

Spelman College holds commencement for the class of 2020 at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Sunday, May 16, 2021.  Students show off their diplomas after walking the stage at graduation.  (Jenni Girtman for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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Spelman College holds commencement for the class of 2020 at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Sunday, May 16, 2021. Students show off their diplomas after walking the stage at graduation. (Jenni Girtman for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

It has been that way for 15 years at the Atlanta HBCU

It is rarified air that Spelman College has gotten used to, and still enjoying.

For the 15th consecutive year, the all-women, Atlanta-based school was ranked as the nation’s best historically Black college and university by U.S. News and World Report. It also ranked as one of the best liberal arts schools in the nation, according to the magazine, which released the 37th edition of its annual rankings of the nation’s top colleges and universities on Monday.

Several Georgia colleges and universities are enjoying national acclaim in the closely watched academic rankings including Emory University, Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia, who were ranked first, or highly, in several categories. Spelman also ranked 54th among national liberal arts schools, the highest-ranking of any Georgia college or university in that category.

The categories included liberal arts, most innovative, best value, top schools for military veterans and the best overall school. The publication used factors such as graduation rates, graduate debt, admissions data and peer assessment to determine the rankings.

The rankings are widely read and used by many students to determine what college they’ll attend. Critics have complained about the publication’s methodology and bias in favor of traditionally prestigious schools.

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Spelman College holds commencement for the class of 2020 at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Sunday, May 16, 2021. U.S. News & World Report ranked Spelman as being the nation's best historically Black college and university and having the top liberal arts program in Georgia. (Jenni Girtman for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.)

Credit: Jenni Girtman

Spelman College holds commencement for the class of 2020 at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Sunday, May 16, 2021. U.S. News & World Report ranked Spelman as being the nation's best historically Black college and university and having the top liberal arts program in Georgia. (Jenni Girtman for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.)

Credit: Jenni Girtman

caption arrowCaption
Spelman College holds commencement for the class of 2020 at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Sunday, May 16, 2021. U.S. News & World Report ranked Spelman as being the nation's best historically Black college and university and having the top liberal arts program in Georgia. (Jenni Girtman for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.)

Credit: Jenni Girtman

Credit: Jenni Girtman

Historically Black colleges and universities appear in the full rankings but are also compared only with one another for a separate ranking. School’s on the list must be currently designated by the U.S. Department of Education as an HBCU. For the U.S. News rankings, an HBCU also must be an undergraduate baccalaureate-granting institution that enrolls primarily first-year, first-time students and must be a school that is part of the 2022 Best Colleges rankings.

Spelman wasn’t alone among Georgia HBCUs to make the top 10 list.

Morehouse College, the nation’s only all-male HBCU tied for fourth.

Based on the rankings, here are the top 10 HBCUs in the country:

1. Spelman College, Atlanta

2. Howard University, Washington, DC

3. Xavier University of Louisiana, New Orleans, LA

4. Hampton University, Hampton, VA (tie)

4. Morehouse College, Atlanta (tie)

4. Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, AL (tie)

7. Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, FL

8. North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Greensboro, NC

9. Fisk University, Nashville, TN

10. Claflin University, Orangeburg, SC (tie)

10. Delaware State University, Dover, DE (tie)

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