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University recognized as leader in social mobility among national universities

For the second consecutive year, Alvernia University earned the 2024 Best National University designation by U.S. News & World Report after climbing 21 spots in the rankings to be among the top 300 national universities. This marks the fifth consecutive year that Alvernia is among the colleges and universities in the top tier of its designation and, for the first time in university history, was recognized as a Top 100 university for social mobility.

"As we continue our growth as a regional comprehensive university, we are grateful for the improved ranking by the U.S. News and World Report,” said Alvernia President Glynis A. Fitzgerald, Ph.D. “Our recognition as a university committed to social mobility is a testament to our mission of serving the underserved in our communities. I thank our faculty, staff, alumni and community partners whose mission-centric excellence provides transformational educational outcomes for all our students and allows us to be an agent for positive change throughout eastern Pennsylvania.”

From 2019 through 2021, 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 tier ranking. According to U.S. News & 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 second year of eligibility, Alvernia earned the 296 position in this grouping.

“Our dedicated faculty and staff have continued to seek innovative ways to serve our students and our community, and the noticeable rise in the rankings is a testament to their collective dedication to the university’s mission,” said Senior Vice President and Provost Leamor Kahanov, Ed.D. "Our alumni should see this recognition as validation of the incredible work they did during their time with Alvernia and continue to do in serving our communities here and around the world.”

Additionally, Alvernia climbed 55 spots and ranked 84 out of 443 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.

"Today’s student faces immense pressure and challenges to finance the investment in their education," said Alvernia University Senior Vice President for Enrollment and Student Affairs Mary-Alice Ozechoski. "We take pride in providing access to an affordable, values-based higher education environment for economically disadvantaged and first-generation college students as they work to improve their lives and the lives of their families. The Reading Collegiate Scholars program, merit awards and dual admissions agreements continue the deep-rooted Bernardine Franciscan tradition of providing strong support systems for students and meeting families where they are."

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. There were significant methodology changes noted this year. Colleges and universities are ranked by 19 metrics in six key categories: student outcomes, peer assessment, faculty resources and research, standardized testing, financial resources and borrower debt. Read more about the methodology here.

Alvernia University also recently earned national endorsements as a Colleges of Distinction (COD) for the fourth consecutive year and was ranked among Money Magazine’s 2023 Best Colleges rankings. 

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