2024-25 Colleges of Distinction

University receives accolades from Colleges of Distinction and Money Magazine 

Alvernia University earns national endorsements as a College of Distinction (COD) for the fifth consecutive year and was ranked among Money Magazine’s 2024 Best Colleges for the second consecutive year.  


“These recognitions reflect Alvernia’s commitment to meeting the unique needs of today's students and increasing access to higher education through our distinct culture of care,” said President Glynis A. Fitzgerald, Ph.D. “This would not have been possible without the mission-centered excellence and dedication exhibited by our faculty and staff. Every day, they are committed to delivering a transformational academic and life experience that prepares Alvernia graduates to become ethical leaders with moral courage in the communities in which we live, learn and engage.”  


The university was listed among the 2024-2025, Catholic and Pennsylvania COD categories along with six others: equity and inclusion, nursing, education, business, military support and career development. Unlike traditional ranking systems based on numerical data, its rigorous selection process involves extensive research and detailed interviews with the institutions, accepting only those that adhere to the Four Distinctions: engaged students, great teaching, vibrant community and successful outcomes. The COD staff conducts in-depth research and detailed interviews with the schools about each institution's strategic plan, first-year experience, retention, general education programs, career development and more.  


Money also ranked Alvernia among 745 other colleges using methodology that assesses graduation rates, cost of attendance, financial aid packages, alumni salaries and more.  


“As we continue to be innovative about the approach to the total student experience before, during and after their college career, in and outside of the classroom, on and off campus, it remains a top institutional priority to keep the cost of higher education accessible,” said Senior Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, Mary-Alice Ozechoski. “Our recent work with restructuring student resources and the Office of Student Financial Services amid the FAFSA changes is a testament to that. Between hiring extra staff, adding evening office hours and partnering with local high schools to provide as many and as accurate of financial aid packages as possible, we are determined to remove as many barriers as possible for students in all life phases and circumstances.”  


Alvernia 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 marked the fifth consecutive year that Alvernia was among the colleges and universities in the top tier of its designation. Additionally, for the first time in university history, Alvernia was recognized as a Top 100 university for social mobility. Alvernia climbed 55 spots, ranking 84 out of 443 in the social mobility indicator, which measures the graduation rate of Pell Grant recipients. 


Alvernia is also the only institution in Berks County to earn the Professional/Doctoral University designation by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education due to the number of professional graduate program offerings, graduates, and the university’s commitment to research. In addition, as one of only 22 Franciscan Catholic institutions in the country, Alvernia embodies Franciscan Catholic and liberal arts traditions as a rigorous, caring, and inclusive learning community. This is cultivated through the Office of Mission and Ministry and the Division of Mission, Diversity & Inclusion.  

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