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Claflin University ranked among Top Ten HBCUs for 9th consecutive year

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Claflin University’s innovative academic programs, world-class faculty, and high-achieving visionary scholars were the catalyst for U.S. News and World Report ranking Claflin ninth in its 2020 ranking of the nation’s top historically black colleges and universities. The prestigious publication has recognized Claflin as one of nation’s Top 10 HBCUs for nine consecutive years.

HBCUs listed in U.S. News and World Report are compared only with each other for these rankings. In order to be on the list, a school must be currently designated by the U.S. Department of Education as an HBCU. To qualify for U.S. News rankings, an HBCU also must be an undergraduate baccalaureate-granting institution that enrolls primarily first-year, first-time students and must be a school that is part of the 2019 Best Colleges rankings.

Founded in 1869, Claflin is in the final stages of celebrating its sesquicentennial as South Carolina’s oldest HBCU and the state’s first institution of higher education to provide educational opportunities to all students regardless of gender, race, religion, or ethnic origin.

In total, 80 HBCUs were eligible to be included on the list; 76 of those were ranked and four were unranked. Among the 76 ranked HBCUs, schools that place in the top three-fourths display their individual ranks. The remaining ranked schools display the bottom quartile numerical ranking range and are listed alphabetically.

Claflin’s academic highlights during 2018-19 included the RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing program receiving accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) Board of Commissioners and the Computer Science program earning accreditation by the Computer Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Significantly, Claflin is now one of only three private colleges or universities in the state of South Carolina with ABET accreditation.

U.S. News and World Report ranked Claflin ninth overall among the schools in the Best Regional Colleges South rankings. These are institutions that focus on undergraduate education but grant fewer than half their degrees in liberal arts disciplines. Regional Colleges rankings are split into four regions: North, South, Midwest and West. Claflin was listed in the Top 10 in three other Best Regional Colleges South rankings. Claflin was third as a Best College for Veterans; fourth in Most Innovative Schools; and seventh for Best Undergraduate Teaching.

Best Colleges for Veterans are the top-ranked schools that participate in federal initiatives that help veterans and active duty service members pay for their degrees.

Institutions in the Most Innovative Schools rankings were selected by college presidents, provosts and admissions deans who were asked to nominate up to 15 colleges or universities that are making the most innovative improvements in terms of curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology or facilities.

The Best Undergraduate Teaching category comprises schools that have a strong commitment to teaching undergraduates instead of conducting graduate-level research. The institutions listed received the most votes in a survey conducted during Spring 2019, from top college administrators for putting a particular focus on undergraduate teaching.

For the complete list of U.S. News and World Report rankings, visit

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