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News from Hard Work U.®

Valorie Coleman
Public Relations Director
College of the Ozarks
Point Lookout, MO 65726
Office: (417) 690-2212

September 13, 2017

College of the Ozarks ranked by U.S. News & World Report No. 1 Best Value Regional College in the Midwest, No. 1 Most Innovative School

Students at Williams Memorial Chapel

POINT LOOKOUT, MO.—College of the Ozarks is the No. 1 Best Value Regional College in the Midwest and No. 1 Most Innovative School, per U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges 2018 listing released yesterday.

College of the Ozarks has been recognized as a best college by the U.S. News & World Report since 1989.

The College also was ranked No. 5 Best Regional College in the Midwest and No. 4 Best Undergraduate Teaching in the Midwest. Additionally, the College was recognized in Academic Programs to Look For (Service Learning) and A+ Schools for B Students (Regional Colleges – Midwest).

“We are pleased to once again be ranked so highly by U.S. News & World Report,” said Dr. Jerry C. Davis, president of College of the Ozarks. “Students at Hard Work U. do not pay tuition; rather they all work on campus each semester. Our goal is for our students to graduate debt free and become Christ-like citizens who are well educated, hardworking, and patriotic. It’s nice to see our efforts are recognized nationwide.”

U.S News & World Report’s “Best Colleges” rankings include nearly 1,800 schools nationwide. Rankings are designed to give a quick comparison of the relative quality of institutions based on such widely accepted indicators of excellence as freshman retention and graduation rates and the strength of the faculty.

Determining factors

The U.S. News ranking system rests on two pillars. The formula uses quantitative and qualitative statistical measures that education experts have proposed as reliable indicators of academic quality and is based on U.S. News & World Report’s researched view of what matters in education.

The U.S. News rankings are based on several key measures of quality, including graduation and retention rates, assessment of excellence, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, graduation rate performance, and alumni giving.

No. 1 Best Value Regional College in the Midwest

The calculation used here takes into account a school’s academic quality based on its U.S. News Best Colleges ranking and the 2016-17 net cost of attendance for a student who received the average level of need-based financial aid. The higher the quality of the program and the lower the cost, the better the deal. Only schools in the top half of their U.S. News ranking categories are included because U.S. News considers the most significant values to be among colleges that perform well academically.

No. 1 Most Innovative School

U.S. News asked top academics participating in a peer survey to name the institutions they think are the Most Innovative Schools. College presidents, provosts, and admissions deans were asked to nominate up to 10 colleges or universities in their U.S. News Best Colleges ranking category that are making the most innovative improvements in terms of curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology, or facilities. The Most Innovative Schools rankings are based solely on the top academics’ responses to this question, which was a separate section of the annual peer assessment survey.

No. 4 Best Undergraduate Teaching in the Midwest

The colleges and universities ranked were cited most often by college presidents, provosts, and admissions deans who were asked to identify up to 10 schools in their U.S. News ranking category with a strong commitment to undergraduate teaching.

No. 5 Best Regional Colleges in the Midwest

These schools focus almost entirely on the undergraduate experience and offer a broad range of programs in the liberal arts (which account for fewer than half of bachelor’s degrees granted) and in fields such as business, nursing, and education. Because most of the 324 colleges in the category draw heavily from nearby states, they are ranked by region: North, South, Midwest, and West.

To view U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges 2018 rankings, visit:

For additional information, contact Public Relations Director Valorie Coleman at (417) 690-2212.

About College of the Ozarks

College of the Ozarks is a private, Christian, liberal arts college, located in Point Lookout, Missouri, on a 1,000-acre campus. Christian values, hard work, and financial responsibility comprise the fundamental building blocks of the “Hard Work U.” experience. The College earns numerous accolades yearly, including No. 1 Best Value Regional College in the Midwest and No. 1 Most Innovative School in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report for 2018. To achieve its vision, the College pursues academic, vocational, Christian, patriotic, and cultural goals. These goals are mirrored in School of the Ozarks, a laboratory school that completes the K-college model.

The Keeter Center—the College’s award-winning lodge, restaurant, and conference facility—was ranked a Top Small Hotel in the U.S. by TripAdvisor for 2017. It features historic lodging, fine dining, and meeting rooms. With more than 350 student workers, it is the largest work station on campus. Follow College of the Ozarks at or on Twitter @CofOHardWorkU.


09.13.17 – Michael Galioto


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