EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Sept. 9, 2019) – North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University moved up in the newly released U.S. News & World Report “Best Colleges 2020” rankings, earning recognition as the nation’s No. 1 public historically black college or university (HBCUs) and breaking into the numeral rankings among national universities for the first time.
In the issue’s ranking of HBCUs, N.C. A&T rose to No. 6, up one place from last year’s listing, and No. 1 among publics. The university’s peer score within that ranking was second among all HBCUs, with only Spelman College scoring higher. As recently as 2016-17, A&T ranked 10th overall on the highly competitive list and No. 2 among publics.
Among national universities, U.S. News provided a numerical ranking for only the top 292 campuses. A&T moved into the ranked category in an 11-way tie for No. 281 among such campuses as Florida Atlantic University, North Dakota State University and the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Growth in A&T’s peer score, retention and graduation rates, entering SAT and ACT scores and alumni giving, helped the university’s ascent.
“As a land grant, a high-activity research university and as an HBCU, we work every day to set aggressive goals and to constantly strive to reach them in service to our students, our alumni and the state of North Carolina,” said Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr. “Our continued improvement in the U.S. News rankings provides a strong annual reminder that we are moving in a very positive direction, that we are focused on the right things and that our colleagues recognize the ever-rising quality of this institution. We’re very pleased with this year’s results.”
This is the latest in what is already a record year for A&T. Following an official count from the University of North Carolina System, more than 12,500 students now call Aggieland home – A&T’s largest enrollment to date. The university remains the largest HBCU in the nation. Since 2014, when the university first earned this distinction, enrollment has grown by 17 percent.
While many HBCUs have experienced growth over the past several years, A&T’s national recognition for excellence in STEM education plus a focused effort on growing enrollment in specific areas has helped the university expand at a faster rate. The university drew nearly 25,000 applications for admission this school year – a record for A&T and a 6,000-application increase over last year.