Governor Bob McDonnell issued the following statement today on the newly released 2014 U.S. News "Best Colleges" Rankings. Among "Top Public Schools," the University of Virginia ranks No. 2, the College of William and Mary No. 6., and Virginia Tech No. 25. Washington and Lee is ranked No. 16 and the University of Richmond No. 25 among national liberal arts colleges. Also making the U.S News rankings in the other top 100 lists are Averett University, Bluefield Colleges, Christopher Newport University, Ferrum College, George Mason University, Hampden-Sydney College, James Madison University, Liberty University, Longwood University, Lynchburg College, Mary Baldwin College, Marymount University, Radford University, Roanoke College, Shenandoah University, University of Mary Washington, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Military Institute, Virginia State University and Virginia Union University.
"In ranking after ranking we continue to see high marks among Virginia's public and private colleges. This year, U.S. News once again ranked the University of Virginia and College of William and Mary among the top 10 public schools nationwide, with 23 other Virginia colleges receiving impressive marks on the "Best Colleges" lists. Virginia's college age students don't have to go far to attend a top-quality university. In Virginia we are blessed to have one of the best higher education systems in the world. At the state level, in partnership with Virginia's institutions, we are doing everything we can to increase access and affordability to our higher education system so that our students can get the best education possible to be prepared for the highly-skilled, highly-technical jobs of the 21st century. Through close to $400 million in new investments in higher education and significant reforms passed by the General Assembly in 2011, we laid out a framework to produce 100,000 additional degrees in 15 years by placing a greater focus on the high-demand STEM degrees and implementing measures to make college more affordable and encourage better use of resources. We are already seeing the results. Virginia's schools have already added slots for 14,000 students and in 2012 we saw the lowest average yearly tuition increase in a decade. This renewed emphasis on higher education and additional general fund support will truly help our colleges continue to be ranked among the best nationwide and in the world, and help our students get the world-class college education they deserve."