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  • Story by Caroline Elswick

CCU Ranks #2 Nationally

This year, Coastal Carolina University ranked among the best universities, nationwide, in terms of affordability and quality. CCU took second place in U.S. News’ “Best Value” category, behind Berry College in Mount Berry, Georgia.

U.S. News ranks all American colleges in a variety of categories, from overall best in region, including affordability and innovation. The ratings are produced annually, and all categories are strictly defined.

The U.S. News website illustrates the algorithm for “Best Value.”

“The calculation used here takes into account a school's academic quality, as indicated by its 2020 U.S. News Best Colleges ranking, and the 2018-2019 net cost of attendance for a student who received the average level of need-based financial aid. The higher the quality of the program and the lower the cost, the better the deal,” the website said.

The organization divides a college’s total score by the average price (with financial aid). Cost includes tuition, room and board, fees, books and other expenses, including transportation. The higher the ratio, the better the value.

The rating also reflects the percentage of students who receive need-based financial aid and how much of the financial aid covers college expenses.

The ranking is for our region, the South, which is as far north as West Virginia and Kentucky and as far south as Florida and Louisiana.

The Provost of CCU, Dan Ennis, commented.

“Appearing on that list shows we're being true to our mission as a public university. In an era in which the cost of higher education is increasing and student debt is an ongoing concern, it isn't enough to offer quality instruction without regard to cost,” said Ennis. “Coastal's faculty, staff, administration, and trustees have worked hard at maintaining affordability without compromising integrity. That work leading to recognition is gratifying.”

CCU has ranked highly in this category for the last 5 years, being number eight in 2018 and number two in 2019.

In other categories, Coastal placed 41st in “Regional Universities South,” a large improvement over 62nd in 2018 and 52nd in 2019.

CCU was also ranked number 17 in “Top Public Colleges,” up from number 19 in 2019. This ranking considers faculty availability, post-college success, and graduation rate, as well as other criteria to form a 10-category system, each category awarding up to 10 points.

Separate from the rankings, U.S. News readers gave CCU an overall rating of five stars, with five stars for four of the six criteria, and four for the other two.

Lexi Clarke is a freshman at Coastal Carolina.

“I think CCU is a fantastic school, and really prioritizes quality of education over profit,” said Clarke. “Going here I’ve always felt that the focus of the school is on the student rather than the student’s wallet. The cost of living is relatively low, and the school has scholarships offered for people who need them.”

Coastal Carolina University received an overall score of 48 out of 100 in a ten-category formula.

You can read more about CCU’s rankings here.

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