• Beth & Tim Manners

Which Colleges Are Most Underrated?

Patch: "The University of Mary Washington lacks huge brand recognition but employs a roster of top-notch professors and offers a high-quality academic environment for its students. For these reasons and other metrics, UMW topped a new list of the most underrated colleges in the country. Released by Great Value Colleges (GVC), the list highlights schools that stand out for what they offer in higher education, but whose size and other factors can preclude them from rising to the top of big-name national rankings."

"UMW was ranked the most underrated college, with Ithaca College in New York, Yeshiva University in New York City, Santa Clara University in California, and St. Olaf College in Minnesota rounding out the top five." Others on the list include: Muhlenberg, Bentley, Babson, Providence, George Washington, Virginia Tech, Clark, Trinity, Fairfield, Elon, Rutgers, Emerson, Sarah Lawrence, University of San Francisco and UMass Amherst.

Though UMW doesn't make the top 50 of any of the general best college lists, according to GVC, it has an impressive statistic that many institutions on those lists can't hope to match: an 87-percent four-year graduation rate. Eight UMW faculty members have won Fulbright Awards, and 86 percent of faculty members have a doctorate or an equivalent level of degree. In another metric that makes UMW stand out among lesser-known schools, the university also gives out $41 million in financial assistance every year.

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