September 11, 2013
The 2014 US News Best College Rankings places Hampden-Sydney in the Top 100 of National Liberal Arts Colleges. At 97, Hampden-Sydney is ranked third in Virginia among private colleges, preceded only by Washington & Lee and the University of Richmond.
Several factors in the US News rankings are addressed by goals in the College’s Strategic Plan, H-SC 20/20. The graduation rate, currently 68%, is to increase to 72%; alumni giving at 30% for the current US News rankings and 36% at the end of 2012-13 as the result of the successful “3000 Strong” campaign is to increase to at least 45%. A focus on the first and second year experience is designed to increase freshman retention, now at 79%.
Strategic plans are designed to address institutional needs; the impact on rankings is incidental. However, national rankings provide a means, at least in regard to statistics, to measure colleges in defined categories against each other.