Tech is ranked as the highest public university in Tennessee and is in the top 50 of universities in the South this year.
The U.S. News and World Report website lists Tech as No. 33 of universities in the region in the 2013 edition of the Best Colleges ranking. Tech outranks universities such as No. 44’s University of Tennessee at Martin, No. 46’s University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and No. 87’s Austin Peay State University.
Tech is the highest-ranked university in the region based on students with the lowest debt, with 47 percent of graduates having no debt. The graduates with loans average out to owe less than $10,000.
Alexis Pope, director of admissions, said the U.S. News and World Report ranks universities based on different factors, including the university’s mission statement.
“It’s a combination of several things,” Pope said. “One is the cost. Another is the freshman and sophomore retention rate and the number of students that return to the university.”
U.S. News and World Report measures the retention rate, faculty resources, financial resources and graduate rate performance to determine who ranks in what position as the best universities by state, region and nation.
Pope said prospective students look at the rankings, and it helps bring students to Tech.
“I think when a student sees those rankings, they’re confident that what we are offering is achievable for them and realistic,” Pope said. “I think they can feel comforted that we spend the money on the students to give them the resources for them to graduate.”
Pope also said students choose Tech and graduate with a low debt because they are dedicated.
“I think the academic reputation of Tennessee Tech really does attract a more driven student,” Pope said.