Today marks the publication of the U.S. News and World Report’s Best Colleges 2019, and Southwestern earned the #1 spot among liberal arts colleges in Texas. Among liberal arts colleges across the U.S., Southwestern moves up from its 2018 ranking of #96 to #90.

Within its category, SU also moves from #69 to #58 for Best Value Schools in the country—making it the #2 Best Value School in Texas among liberal arts institutions. The University also climbed from #71 to #51 in the nation in the list of High School Counselor Rankings, a list compiled from a survey in which 24,400 guidance counselors from public, private and parochial high schools in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., were asked for their opinions on which universities offer the best undergraduate education to their students.

Southwestern is categorized as a national liberal arts college based on the Carnegie Basic Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The 213 private and 20 public institutions in this group focus almost exclusively on undergraduate education and award at least 50 percent of their degrees in the arts and sciences. The compilers of the popular college guidebook group colleges into categories to more fairly compare schools with similar missions. They consider more than 1,600 schools for the publication, ranking only regionally accredited institutions that offer four-year undergraduate degrees.

The U.S. News and World Report assesses colleges and universities based on 16 differently weighted measures of academic excellence. Their evaluations take into account such factors as student retention, graduation rates, alumni employment outcomes, alumni giving, class sizes, and the strength of the faculty. Unlike other college-ranking organizations, they do not rely on “unscientific” information such as residence hall tours, student polls, or recruiter interviews. Instead, their rankings focus on “statistical quantitative” data as well as expert opinions about academic reputation from surveys of college presidents, provosts, deans of admission, and high school counselors.

Best Colleges 2019 is accompanied by a searchable online directory of school profiles. Each university’s page includes the data used in its ranking, user reviews of the institution, and details about the application process, academics, price tag, campus life, safety and security, services, and postgraduate employment and salary outcomes.

U.S. News and World Report has been ranking colleges, graduate schools, and high schools since 1983. Available for preorder now, the Best Colleges 2019 guidebook begins shipping on October 1 and will be on newsstands on October 16.