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Saint Leo University Named as Best Value in South for 2021 by U.S. News & World Reports

ST. LEO, FL – Saint Leo University ranked as one of the best values in higher education and one of the best regional universities in the South – 2021 U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges rankings.

The university moved up to fourth place from last year’s fifth place among Best Value Schools in the South. Among the Best Regional Universities in the South, Saint Leo ranked 26th. 

Once again, Saint Leo was named a Best for Veterans School among southern regional universities, ranking 14th, the same as last year.

Saint Leo’s diversity was noted by U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges. The university ranked sixth, up from last year's seventh, for campus ethnic diversity among regional universities in the South. The university also ranks in the top five for most international students among regional universities in the South.

In the Top Performers on Social Mobility category, Saint Leo ranked 14th among regional universities in the South.

"Being named one of the best values in higher education speaks volumes about what Saint Leo is all about," said Dr. Jeffrey D. Senese, university president. "Saint Leo offers a high-caliber, private university education at an affordable price and excellent scholarships and financial aid packages.

Dr. Senese continued, “I am proud that Saint Leo again this year was named a best university and a best value university in the South. Our rankings demonstrate the commitment of our faculty, staff, and community to our students. I am especially pleased with Saint Leo’s rankings for diversity, veterans’ education, social mobility, and international student education. The university builds on our Catholic tradition of educating and welcoming all. We remain committed to providing the best education at a reasonable cost to students of all races, cultures, religions, and creeds. And we remain committed to our military and student-veterans.”

St. Leo offers a full range of undergraduate programs and offers graduate programs at the master’s level.

While the schools included in the regional universities category offer few if any doctoral programs, Saint Leo offers four doctoral degrees:  Doctor of Business Administration, Doctor of Criminal Justice-Education, Doctor of Criminal Justice-Homeland Security, and Doctor of Education-School Leadership.

In its 36th year, The U.S. News Best Colleges rankings help students who plan to pursue a bachelor’s degree select a university.

The latest edition assesses 1,452 U.S. bachelor's degree-granting institutions measuring 17 measures of academic quality.

This year’s rankings considered many factors, including: graduation and retention rates, graduate indebtedness, social mobility, faculty resources, which takes into account class size and faculty salary, peer assessment by other universities, financial resources, student excellence, which includes performance on standardized tests and high school class standing, and alumni giving.

The social mobility category measures how well schools graduated students who received federal Pell Grants. Pell Grants are awarded to those typically coming from households whose family incomes are less than $50,000 annually. However, most Pell Grant money goes to students with a total family income below $20,000.

Affordability is important to students when choosing a university and figuring out which institutions offer students' best values. U.S. News & World Report factors academic quality and cost after accounting for total expenses and financial aid.

For information on 2021 Best Colleges, go to https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges.

About Saint Leo University

Saint Leo University is one of the largest Catholic universities in the nation, offering nearly 60 undergraduate and graduate-level degree programs to more than 19,500 students each year. Founded in 1889 by Benedictine monks, the private, nonprofit university is known for providing values-based education to learners of all backgrounds and ages in the liberal arts tradition. Saint Leo is regionally accredited and offers a residential campus in the Tampa Bay region of Florida, 15 education centers in five states, and an online program for students anywhere. The university is home to more than 95,000 alumni. Learn more at saintleo.edu.

Mary McCoy is a university writer and media relations expert at St. Leo University

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