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“Best Colleges” rankings released this week by U.S. News & World Report magazine listed Columbus State University among the South’s 10 most ethnically diverse regional universities for the first time. CSU also retained its status among the South’s top public regional universities.
CSU President Chris Markwood says he is pleased to see the magazine’s recognition, which follows a time when admission standards were universally rising.
“Our combination of value and academic excellence continues to attract recognitions,” he said. “It indeed nice to be lauded for this as well as for how our student body reflects this community and this state.”
Columbus State is listed in U.S. News & World Report’s leading colleges where students are most likely to encounter undergraduates from a different ethnic group from their own. U.S. News factored in the proportion of minority students, excluding international students, and the overall mix of groups in each institution’s 2016-2017 academic year student body. The formula produces a diversity index that ranges from 0.0 to 1.0, with 1 being the most diverse student population. Columbus State received a .59, landing it as No. 10 on the list of ethnically diverse regional universities in the South. CSU’s enrollment figures last year included about 51 percent of students reporting themselves as white, 37 percent as African-American or black, 5 percent as Hispanic or Latino.
The ranking reflects Columbus State’s emphasis on inclusion, which is among the university’s six core values. One part of a strategic plan adopted by Columbus State in 2012 mentioned the university’s need to “pursue recognition/ranking in national publications,” with “sustaining a diverse student body” mentioned specifically.
Columbus State is listed as No. 106 in the South in the “Best Regional Universities” section of the magazine’s Best Colleges 2018 guidebook that will be in stores on Oct. 10. U.S. News defines a regional university as offering a full range of undergraduate majors and master’s programs. Regional university rankings are divided into four geographic regions: North, South, Midwest and South. That CSU ranking measures Columbus State against private universities as well as public schools. When compared to regional public universities in the South, Columbus State is listed at No. 45.