COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (Aug. 20, 2009) —In addition to its eighth year being ranked as one of the Best Universities in the South by the publishers of U.S.News & World Report, this year Tennessee Tech University is the only Tennessee school ranked for students who graduate with the least amount of debt.
TTU earned the #34 spot among Best Universities in the South – Master’s category in the 2010 edition of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News Media Group. TTU’s ranking is the top listing for a Tennessee public university in that category for the southern region. States included in the region are Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas.
TTU is also the only Tennessee university listed in U.S. News’ ranking of colleges whose students in the class of 2008 graduated with the lightest debt loads. The magazine used information like loans taken out by students from colleges, from private financial institutions, and from federal, state and local governments. According to the report, 60 percent of TTU’s students graduate debt free.
The exclusive rankings, which include more than 1,400 schools nationwide, are available today at www.usnews.com/colleges, will also be published in the September issue of the U.S.News & World Report magazine, on newsstands starting August 20.
“These rankings reinforce Tennessee Tech’s commitment to lifelong student success,” said TTU President Bob Bell. “We are continuing to focus on enhanced student experiences, excellent academic offerings and exceptional education value.”
Over the past 26 years, the U.S. News college rankings, which groups schools based on categories created by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, has grown to be the most comprehensive research tool for students and parents considering higher education opportunities.
Among the many factors weighed in determining the rankings, the key measures of quality are: peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving.
TTU’s ranking indicates that 82 percent of its faculty members are full-time. About 42 percent of its classes have fewer than 20 students, and the student-to-faculty ratio is 19:1. Fifty-four percent of TTU entering freshmen are classified in the top 25 percent of their high school class.
The main rankings are separated into four main categories: national universities, liberal arts colleges, universities - master’s, and baccalaureate colleges. These categories are further subdivided by geographic region.
Universities within the master’s category, such as TTU, offer a full range of undergraduate and master’s-level programs, but fewer doctoral programs (if any) compared to institutions listed in the national category.
TTU offers doctoral degrees in engineering, education and environmental sciences.
The universities — master’s category is separated by region because, in general, schools in this category tend to draw students heavily from surrounding states. While TTU typically attracts most of its students from within the state, last year the university enrolled students from 40 other states and 65 foreign countries.