The 2022-23 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Ranking honored Bob Jones University with high rankings for regional universities in the South, best value, social mobility and undergraduate teaching. BJU President Steve Pettit announced the University’s recognition during chapel on Sept. 12, highlighting BJU’s ranking as a best value school. The ranking organization evaluated both the quality of the programs offered and the cost of education.
Dr. Gary Weier, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, said BJU’s continued improvements in the rankings come from the faculty and staff’s focused efforts. “Our focus on student success has been very intentional, and that’s been a key part in helping us improve on the rankings,” Weier said.
Weier said the rankings also show the importance of the students’ contributions and attitudes, mostly shown in their willingness to cooperate with their professors. “I think it’s the combination of the spirit of the student body and the spirit of the faculty and staff,” Weier said. He said that these parts working together underlie the University’s achievement.
Similarly, BJU was awarded for its financial support to students from low-income backgrounds. The report named the University second in top performers on social mobility and as the number five best value school among regional colleges in the South. Students from the United States are eligible to receive Federal Pell Grants, and South Carolina residents can obtain the South Carolina Tuition Grant. In addition, the University tries to supply financial aid independently to the students who need it, Weier said.
Many in the University family expressed their excitement about the ranking, including some students who affirmed that these rankings reflect their experience at BJU. “This makes me feel like I am in the right school,” said Marioly Acosta, a sophomore early childhood education major. “I believe the school deserves it because, as I can see, I have a quality education over here.”
Martha Smith, a sophomore keyboard major, said she was supportive of BJU’s acknowledgement. “I think BJU deserves the award that it gets because I think it’s very high quality,” Smith said. Junior communication disorders major Emily Drown agreed, saying she believed the University earned the recognition.
BJU has consistently improved its rankings over the past six years, and the institution aims to keep getting better throughout the new academic year, Pettit said. The University will emphasize the application of the BJU Premium to provide students with experiential learning. Beginning with the class of 2027, students will be required to complete two practical, major-focused projects before graduating to be better equipped to work in their fields, Weier said.