FLORENCE, S.C. -- U.S. News and World Report magazine has ranked Francis Marion University as having one of the most diverse student bodies among regional universities in the South for the second year in a row.
FMU is ranked 10th in the South among regional universities, up from its number 12 rank of last year. FMU is the only South Carolina institution listed in this category.
Annually, U.S. News and World Report publishes the guide “America’s Best Colleges,” which ranks the nation’s educational institutions in several categories, including best national liberal arts college, best regional liberal arts college, schools with the most ethnic diversity, best financial values, and others.
The “most ethnically diverse” category is intended to provide a list of colleges where students might attend as a place to learn from people of different backgrounds. To identify the schools where students are most likely to encounter undergraduates of different racial or ethnic groups, U.S. News used a mathematical equation based on the proportion of various groups in each institution’s 1998-99 student body. Minority groups included in the calculation are American Indians, Alaskan Natives, Asians, Pacific Islanders, blacks (non-Hispanics), whites (non-Hispanics), and Hispanics.
FMU is classified by the magazine as a “regional university,” an institution which offers a wide selection of undergraduate programs and master’s degrees, but few, if any doctoral programs. FMU offers four undergraduate degrees and four graduate degrees, with 30 areas of study. To be included in the rankings, a college or university must be accredited and have an enrollment of at least 250.
FMU’s enrollment, listed as 28 percent African-American last year, was listed as 32 percent African-American this year.
In the regional liberal arts college category, Columbia College, Coker College and Limestone College were the only other South Carolina schools mentioned in the report as having diverse student bodies.
The magazine’s report on America’s Best Colleges for 2000 is due on the newsstands Monday, Aug. 23. The college guidebook will go on sale Aug. 24.