US News Cites Hollins for Value, Social Mobility Among National Liberal Arts Colleges

Hollins University’s success in blending educational excellence with affordability, and its track record for graduating Pell Grant-awarded students, have earned recognition in the new U.S. News 2021 Best Colleges.

The college guide ranks Hollins as the #44 Best Value School and #21 in the list of Top Performers on Social Mobility among National Liberal Arts Colleges.

“To determine which colleges and universities offer the best value for students, U.S. News and World Report factors academic quality and cost after accounting for total expenses and financial aid,” the guide notes. “The social mobility ranking is computed from the two ranking factors assessing graduation rates of students who received federal Pell Grants (those typically coming from households whose family incomes are less than $50,000 annually, though most Pell Grant money goes to students with a total family income below $20,000).”

Hollins is ranked #102 overall in the National Liberal Arts Colleges category, and is also considered an A-plus School for B Students.

“Since the U.S. News rankings are a gauge of excellence,” the guide explains, “schools had to first be ranked in the top three-fourths of their 2021 Best Colleges ranking category to be eligible for the A-plus Schools for B Students ranking list. The average freshman retention rate – the percentage of first-year students who returned for their sophomore year – was also calculated for first-year classes entering between fall 2015 and fall 2018; schools that made the first cut had to bring an average of at least 75% of their freshmen back the next fall. This freshman retention rate value can be an important indicator of student satisfaction.

“In addition to passing the first two screens, to make the final cut of A-plus Schools for B Students, colleges had to admit a meaningful proportion of students who didn’t get straight A’s.”

The 2021 Best Colleges rankings were released to the public on September 14.

 

 


Top Ten Rankings Highlight Hollins’ Profile in The Princeton Review’s “Best 386 Colleges”

Hollins University is among the top ten schools in the country for politically involved students and college theatre, according to the 2021 edition of The Princeton Review’s annual college guide, The Best 386 Colleges.

Hollins is ranked #6 in the category Most Politically Active Students and #8 on the Best College Theatre list.

In the guide’s profile of the university, students say Hollins is “a great place for people who want life experience” and that the school provides “a lot of incredible opportunities for anyone willing to take them.” They also cite internship and study abroad opportunities as “exceptional,” and praise the faculty as “amazing, talented, dedicated, and compassionate.” The Princeton Review adds, “The alumni network is similarly solid, and many students land jobs and internships through previous graduates.”

“We salute Hollins for its outstanding academics and we are truly pleased to recommend it to prospective applicants searching for their personal ‘best-fit’ college,” said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s editor-in-chief and lead author of The Best 386 Colleges.

Only about 14% of America’s 2,800 four-year colleges are profiled in the guide. The Princeton Review chooses the colleges for the book based on data it annually collects from administrators at hundreds of colleges about their institutions’ academic offerings. The company also considers data it gathers from its surveys of college students who rate and report on various aspects of their campus and community experiences.

The Princeton Review does not rank the colleges in the book from 1 to 386. Instead, it reports 62 ranking lists of the top 20 schools in various categories important to prospective applicants and their parents. The rankings in this edition are based on the company’s surveys of 143,000 students at the 386 schools in the book.

The Best 386 Colleges is the 29th annual edition of The Princeton Review’s “Best Colleges” book. It has been featured on NBC’s The Today Show more than a dozen times, and referenced by reporters in publications ranging from Inside Higher Ed. to The Wall Street Journal.


Hollins’ Strengths in Film, Dance, and Performing Arts/Drama Touted by Fiske Guide

The Fiske Guide to Colleges 2021 features Hollins University as one of the more than 300 “best and most interesting” colleges and universities in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, and Ireland.

Created by former New York Times education editor Edward B. Fiske, the guide has been published for 37 years. USA Today calls it, “The best college guide you can buy.”

The Fiske Guide includes Hollins among the nation’s small colleges and universities that are “Strong in Film/Television,” “Strong in Dance,” and “Strong in Performing Arts/Drama.” Undergraduates quoted in the university’s profile cite their fellow students as “independent, ambitious, and passionate” while also praising Hollins’ academic balance (“I have been challenged by most of my classes here, but the workload has been manageable enough that I have been able to do a bunch of extracurriculars, too.”), its residence halls (“Most of the dorms are historic buildings full of character and comfort.”), and the overall educational environment (“Hollins is a great school that empowers women. It has made me independent.”). One senior concludes, “A student should only attend Hollins if they want to be a part of a close-knit community that fosters creative minds and ambitious spirits.”

Updated annually, the Fiske Guide to Colleges describes itself as “the most authoritative source of information for college-bound students and their parents.”

 


The Princeton Review Places Hollins Among Nation’s Best for Alumni Networks, Internships, and Value

Announcing its Best Value Colleges for 2020, The Princeton Review has ranked Hollins University as having the #5 Best Alumni Network in the country and #21 in the category Best Schools for Internships.

The Best Alumni Network rankings are based on college student ratings of alumni activity and visibility on campus, while the Best Schools for Internships are determined by student ratings of accessibility of internship placement at their school.

The education services company also selected Hollins as one of the nation’s top 200 colleges “for students seeking a superb education with great career preparation at an affordable price.”

The Princeton Review chose its Best Value Colleges for 2020 based on data the company collected from its surveys of administrators at 656 colleges in 2018-19. The company also factored in data from its surveys of students attending the schools as well as PayScale.com surveys of alumni of the schools about their starting and mid-career salaries and job satisfaction figures.

In all, The Princeton Review crunched more than 40 data points to tally ROI (Return on Investment) ratings of the colleges that determined its selection of the 200 schools for the 2020 project. Topics covered everything from academics, cost, and financial aid to graduation rates, student debt, alumni salaries, and job satisfaction.

“The schools we name as our Best Value Colleges for 2020 comprise only 7% of the nation’s four-year colleges,” said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s editor-in-chief. “They are truly distinctive and diverse in their programs, size, region, and type, yet they are similar in three areas. Every school we selected offers outstanding academics, generous financial aid and/or a relative low cost of attendance, and stellar career services.

“We salute Hollins University for these exceptional offerings and recommend it highly to college applicants and parents.”

 


Hollins Earns “A-Minus” Financial Health Grade from Forbes

Hollins University has received an “A-minus” grade from Forbes for fiscal fitness in the magazine’s 2019 report on the financial health of private not-for-profit colleges and universities.

Drawing upon the most recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics, the federal government’s main body for collecting and analyzing information regarding education in the United States and other countries, Forbes examined the finances of 933 private institutions across the nation with enrollments larger than 500 students. The publication then graded those schools “on balance sheet strength and operational soundness, plus certain other indicators of a college’s financial condition, including admission yield, percentage of freshmen receiving institutional grants, and instruction expenses per student.”

Forbes noted, “This year only 34 colleges received A-plus grades, and another 40 scored at least A-minus.” Hollins is thus among the top 75 of the 933 schools analyzed.

Only two private colleges in Virginia (the University of Richmond and Washington and Lee University) earned higher grades than Hollins.

 

 


Hollins Featured in The Princeton Review’s “Guide to Green Colleges: 2019 Edition”

Hollins University is one of the nation’s most environmentally responsible colleges, according to the 2019 edition of The Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges.

The Princeton Review chose the 413 schools it profiles in the tenth annual edition of the guide based on a survey the company conducted in 2018-19 of administrators at hundreds of four-year colleges about their institutions’ commitments to the environment and sustainability.

“We strongly recommend Hollins to the many environmentally minded students who want to study and live at a green college,” said Rob Franek, The Princeton Review’s editor-in-chief.

Franek noted a high level of interest among college applicants and their parents about environmental and sustainability issues. Among the nearly 12,000 teens and parents The Princeton Review surveyed earlier this year, 64% said that having information about a school’s commitment to the environment would affect their decision to apply to or attend a specific school.

An overview of how Hollins is “keeping it green” can be found on the university’s environmental sustainability web page.

 

 


College Factual: Hollins Is One Of The “Best Colleges for the Money”

Hollins University is among the top 10% of institutions regionally and nationally that are considered “Best Colleges for the Money” by the college ratings website College Factual.

Hollins is ranked #21 out of 374 colleges and universities in the Southeast and #98 out of 1483 schools nationwide in that category, whose goal is to identify “colleges that are offering the best education quality for the best price. To come up with this ranking we measure the total average cost of the degree, and then compare the cost of the school to other schools of similar value.”

Academically, College Factual places Hollins in the top 1% of schools that are “Most Focused” in English Language and Literature and General English Literature; the top 5% in Foreign Languages and Linguistics, Romance Languages, and Fine and Studio Arts; the top 10% in General Biology, Classical Languages and Literature, Visual and Performing Arts, and Dance; and the top 15% in Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Mathematics, Natural Resources and Conservation, Drama and Theatre Arts, and General Psychology.

“In the context of majors rankings, focus is the percentage of undergraduates in the given degree at that school,” College Factual explains. “[T]he most focused rankings identify the schools that are likely to have a greater concentration on a particular major, based solely on the percentage of students enrolled at the college or university.”

College Factual describes itself as “a website created to help every student discover a college and career they love without debt holding them back.” It gathers data from both public and private sources, including the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics, a branch of the U.S. Department of Education.

The complete 2020 rankings for Hollins can be found here.


U.S. News: Hollins Is One of the Nation’s Top 30 Schools for Social Mobility, Value

U.S. News and World Report’s 2020 Best Colleges places Hollins at #24 among the country’s Top Performers for Social Mobility and ranks the university as the #30 Best Value School, both in the National Liberal Arts Colleges category.

The 2020 Best Colleges rankings were released to the public September 9.

Rankings for social mobility are new this year to the publication. They recognize how well colleges graduate students who receive federal Pell Grants.

U.S. News determines which colleges and universities offer the best value for students by taking into account both academic quality and cost, and factoring in three variables: Ratio of quality to price; need-based aid; and average discount.

Hollins is ranked #102 overall among National Liberal Arts Colleges and is cited as an “A+ School for B Students” in the category. “Since the U.S. News rankings are a gauge of excellence,” the guide explains regarding the latter recognition, “a college or university had to first be ranked in the top three-fourths of their 2020 Best Colleges ranking categories to be eligible.” In addition, the guide looked at average first-year retention rates and whether institutions admitted a meaningful proportion of students who didn’t get straight A’s. Hollins is noted as a “More Selective” school in the “A+ Schools for B Students” listings.

The U.S. News profile of Hollins features a detailed overview of academics, cost and aid, how to apply, and more.

 


Fiske Guide Cites Hollins’ Strengths in Art, Dance, and Film

Hollins University is one of the “more than 300 of the country’s best and most interesting colleges and universities,” according to the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2020. Created by former New York Times education editor Edward B. Fiske, the guide selects colleges for inclusion “with several broad principles in mind, beginning with academic quality.”

The Fiske Guide calls Hollins “one of the South’s leading women’s colleges” and includes the school among the nation’s small colleges and universities that are “Strong in Art or Design,” “Strong in Dance,” and “Strong in Film/Television.” Undergraduates quoted in the university’s profile praise their fellow students as “independent, ambitious, and passionate” while also citing the residence halls (“Most of the dorms are beautiful historic buildings full of character and comfort.”), the coursework (“I have been challenged by most of my classes here, but the workload has been manageable enough that I have been able to do a bunch of extracurriculars, too.”), and the professors (“Faculty members are typically accessible and often work hard to make sure they can help any students having trouble.”).

One senior concludes, “A student should only attend Hollins if they want to be a part of a close-knit community that fosters creative minds and ambitious spirits.”

The introduction to the Fiske Guide‘s 2020 edition notes that it is “a revised and updated version of a book that has been a bestseller since it first appeared over three decades ago. [It] is universally regarded as the definitive college guide of its type. If you are wondering whether to consider a particular college, it is logical to seek out friends or acquaintances who go there and ask them to tell you about their experiences. We have done exactly that – but on a far broader and more systematic basis than any individual or family could do alone.”

 

 


Hollins Earns National Rankings in The Princeton Review’s “Best 385 Colleges”

Hollins University is among the top 20 schools in the country for politically involved students, effective student government, and college theatre, according to the new edition of The Princeton Review’s annual college guide, The Best 385 Colleges.

Hollins is ranked #4 in the category Most Politically Active Students, #16 for Most Active Student Government, and #19 on the Best College Theatre list. In the guide’s profile of the university, students state that the campus is “a great place for people who want life experience” and “the internship and study abroad opportunities for students of this school are exceptional.” Students also describe professors as “amazing, talented, dedicated, and compassionate.”

“We salute Hollins University for its outstanding academics and we are truly pleased to recommend it to prospective applicants searching for their personal ‘best-fit’ college,” said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s editor-in-chief and lead author of The Best 385 Colleges.

Only about 13% of America’s 3,000 four-year colleges are profiled in The Best 385 Colleges and are chosen based on data The Princeton Review annually collects from administrators at hundreds of colleges about their institutions’ academic offerings. The company also considers data it gathers from its surveys of college students who rate and report on various aspects of their campus and community experiences.

The 2020 edition of The Best 385 Colleges will be published August 6.