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Featured | News | Student LifeNovember 03, 2021

UAFS Places in Four US News Categories.

Written By: Rachel Putman

The University of Arkansas – Fort Smith earned recognition this week as one of the top public universities in the south according to U.S. News & World Report’s annual Best Colleges rankings, ranking  5th overall for social mobility and 12th  of all regional public schools.

The university also earned accolades in the overall academic excellence among other regional colleges in the South (No. 48) and landed among the top 500 nursing programs in the nation and among the top business programs accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB.)

“The University of Arkansas – Fort Smith is dedicated to engaging, empowering, and educating across the state of Arkansas and beyond,” said UAFS Chancellor Terisa Riley. “We are thrilled every time we learn that we have been awarded a national ranking for our academic programs, as these confirm what we see every day on this campus – our faculty, staff, and students are among the best and brightest anywhere.” 

The Top Performers on Social Mobility category, in which UAFS placed 5th – besting every other regional institution in the state - measures the extent that institutions enroll and graduate Pell Grant-eligible students. 

“To earn a national ranking in something as powerful as social mobility is truly outstanding,” Riley added. “UAFS has continually proven our dedication to our Pell-eligible students, and to making the life-changing impact of a higher education accessible to all.” 

Research shows that individuals who earn a bachelor’s degree earn more than $1 million more in their lifetime than those with a high school diploma alone, but the impact doesn’t stop there. The socioeconomic changes brought forth by these increases in wage and employability impact generations, shaping the future of families. 

Over the past year, UAFS has instituted numerous new scholarships for Pell-eligible students aimed at driving down the cost of attendance. This year, thanks to a transformative gift from the Windgate Foundation, the university has also implemented a program bringing cost of tuition and mandatory fees to virtually zero for students who receive Pell grants and no other form of free aid. 

Additionally, UAFS has implemented a number of new scholarships, including a $1,000 scholarship for transfer students, a $1,000 Living and Learning scholarship for student living on campus in dedicated housing communities, and a $1,000 scholarship for legacy graduate students; and has reformed the Merit scholarship process to further increase access.

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Rachel Rodemann Putman

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