John R. Post Center at Reading CollegeTowne Ranking

University expansion leads to national recognition 


Alvernia University earns the 2022 Best National University designation by U.S. News and World Report for the first time after its new doctoral classification by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education. This marks the fourth consecutive year that Alvernia is among the colleges and universities in the top tier of its designation. 


"We are very pleased to become a nationally recognized university for the first time in our history. My personal thanks to our faculty, staff, students, alumni and community partners whose hard work and partnership played an integral part in successfully creating a truly special regional comprehensive university serving eastern Pennsylvania,” said Alvernia President John R. Loyack. “This accolade highlights Alvernia's commitment to providing a world-class, experiential-based education in a personal and values-based setting. It also speaks to the success of our community-centered CollegeTowne model that has created the foundation for our highly effective growth and expansion of the university as we begin the fourth year of the implementation of our Alvernia Advantage strategic plan."


Since 2019, the university was ranked among the top 100 Best Regional Universities in the North, but its continued expansion in research and academic programming has paved the way for the higher tiered ranking. According to U.S. News and World Report, the National Universities offer a range of undergraduate majors, plus master's and doctoral programs, and emphasize faculty research or award professional practice doctorates. In the first year of eligibility, Alvernia earned the 317 position in this grouping. 


In addition, Alvernia climbed 76 spots in the report’s Nursing program rankings in comparison to last year, settling in at 356 out of 681 institutions. The university also recently received $1 million from the County of Berks to assist in the $6.4 million expansion of its nursing program.


“Alvernia is dedicated to assessing and meeting the needs of the communities that we serve when building programs that allow our students to develop their innate talents, discover their passions and lead successful lives with deep meaning and purpose,” said Alvernia University Senior Vice President and Provost Glynis Fitzgerald. "This recognition is validation of the incredible work being done by our nursing faculty and our many talented and dedicated alumni serving our communities, locally, regionally and nationally."


Additionally, Alvernia was ranked 140 out of 476 in the social mobility indicator, which measures the graduation rate of Pell Grant recipients. Students receiving these grants typically come from households with family incomes of less than $50,000 annually, with most money going to students with total family incomes below $20,000. The university was recognized earlier this year by education nonprofit Strive for College’s 2022 I’m First! Guide to College, a comprehensive college guidebook designed to help low-income, first-generation students make college a reality.


"We pride ourselves as an institution that provides educational opportunities for economically disadvantaged and first-generation college students through efforts such as the Reading Collegiate Scholars program, financial aid awards, dual admissions agreements and more," said Alvernia University Senior Vice President for Enrollment and Student Affairs Mary-Alice Ozechoski. "In this way, Alvernia continues the deep-rooted Bernardine Franciscan tradition of serving the underserved in our communities and being an educational pillar for our students." 


According to U.S. News and World Report, national universities offer a full range of undergraduate majors, plus master's and doctoral programs. These colleges also are committed to producing groundbreaking research. Colleges and universities are ranked by 17 metrics in six key categories —s outcomes (40%), faculty resources (20%), expert opinion (20%), financial resources (10%), student excellence (7%) and alumni giving (3%). Read more about the methodology here.