Philander Smith College named a top 40 HBCU for third year running

In its 2015 Best Colleges listings, U.S. News & World Report included United Methodist-related Philander Smith College among the nation’s top 40 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), the college announced in a March 19 news release.

Philander Smith is ranked 35th, tying for the spot with the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. This is the third consecutive year that the Little Rock institution has made the top 40.

For the top HBCU list, the publication ranked a total of 69 historically black colleges and universities. Rankings are derived from data such as institutional reputation, retention rates, college entrance scores, faculty strength and graduation rates.

“Each year national college ranking reports create a lot of interest and dialogue surrounding our nation’s best public and private universities,” said Dr. Roderick L. Smothers, president of Philander Smith College. “We are proud that Philander Smith College has a national prominence as a quality choice for a solid college education.”

To be part of the Best Black Colleges and Universities, a school must be currently designated by the Department of Education as an HBCU, a status created as part of the Higher Education Act of 1965. Additionally, the college must be a baccalaureate-granting institution that enrolls primarily first-year, first-time students and must also have been part of this year’s “Best Colleges” process.