U.S. News Names Biola One of America’s Top 10 “Up and Coming” Universities

Biola receives highest ranking in school’s history

Sep. 8, 2014 By Jenna Bartlo

U.S. News and World Report has identified Biola University as one of America’s top 10 “up and coming” national universities — an honor given to the nation’s most promising and innovative schools — in its annual college rankings, released Sept. 9. Biola also received its highest-ever ranking in the “Best National Universities” category, where it continues to be ranked in the top tier.

“It's an honor to be recognized by our peers once again on the "Up and Coming" list of national universities,” said Biola University President Barry H. Corey. “To be included in such distinguished company speaks highly of the diligence and commitment of our faculty and staff to fulfilling our mission and vision with excellence."

As one of 14 “up and coming” national universities, Biola was identified by peer schools’ presidents, provosts and academic deans as one of the universities “making the most promising and innovative changes in the areas of academics, faculty, student life, campus or facilities,” according to U.S. News.

Biola is the only Christian school to appear on the “up and comer” list, which also includes such institutions as the University of Southern California, Clemson University and Tulane University. It is the fourth time in five years Biola has been named to the list, which appeared for the first time in 2008 to identify schools that have recently made striking improvements or innovations.

Biola has launched several innovative initiatives in recent years, including Open Biola, online programs such as IRIS, and new academic centers such as the Biola University Center for Christian Thought and the Center for Christianity, Culture and the Arts. A vision for further innovation is found in the University Plan, which lays out seven aspirations for the university’s future.

The U.S. News rankings, released each fall, are considered the most notable of the annual published college rankings. For more than 20 years, Biola has been included on U.S. News’ list of national universities, which consists of 280 institutions that “offer a wide range of undergraduate majors as well as master’s and doctoral degrees,” according to U.S. News. This year, Biola is the highest-ranked national university in the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) at No. 161 overall, and one of two CCCU schools in the first tier.


To calculate the annual rankings, U.S. News uses quantitative data that assesses universities’ performance in everything from graduation and retention rates to faculty resources, measuring up to 15 indicators of academic performance. This quantitative data results in 77.5 percent of the overall score; the remaining 22.5 percent is based on undergraduate academic reputation surveys completed by university presidents, provosts and chief enrollment officers.

The U.S. News rankings are the latest in a series of national recognitions for the university. Princeton Review named Biola a “Best in the West” university for the second year in a row. In July, Forbes recognized Biola as one of “America’s Top Colleges.”

U.S. News’ “Best Colleges 2015” guidebook will be in stores Sept. 23 and is available online.

Written by Jenna Bartlo, Media Relations Specialist. For more information, contact Jenna at jenna.l.bartlo@biola.edu or 562.777.4061.


  • Matt Sep. 9, 2014 at 8:05 PM

    Biola is tied as the 161st best school in the country. The school accepts 3 out of every 4 students. This "up-and-coming" honor reminds me of the "most improved" award that the worst kid on your t-ball team would always get. Why are we celebrating mediocrity?

  • Ethan Sep. 10, 2014 at 8:52 PM

    Matt: Rather than the "most improved award," a closer semblance would be pioneering. To make this list a non-Ivy league type of school, or at least any school that has yet to be considered notable, must put out educational and cultural programs that are "cutting edge," especially in a way that would inspire other institutions to follow suit. Acceptance rate and rankings aren't really the criteria for an award that more so considers influence in the field of education. Celebration should be in order if a Christian school is beginning to make in impact and turning the heads of secular institutions.

  • Carmen Sep. 18, 2014 at 7:41 PM

    My years at Biola were the cement that solidified my Christian worldview and equipped me to be used in the church and in the secular world in a more purposeful way. It's not how many students Biola accepts, it is that 100% of the students that attend are impacted by the excellence and culture at Biola. I am not at all surprised that Biola is being recognized on a national level. As an alumni, I am proud of the seemingly unending accomplishments, in every field, by Biola students when they go out an compete in "the real world". Keep up the good work!

  • Michael Morehead Oct. 26, 2014 at 8:57 PM

    If Biola is mediocre, then University number 162 and beyond are no good either. But that's silly. I am proud to be a graduate from Biola, the best CCCU school in the country. I am at one of the best law schools in the country, and just met a Biola grad who went to Princeton for his doctoral work. He is now teaching at my school. Biola truly is up and coming, has graduate students at the best schools in the world, including Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, Oxford, Cambridge, MIT, Brown, Penn, and Berkeley. And those are just students I know. Biola is a great school.

  • David Toyer '89 Oct. 26, 2014 at 11:05 PM

    I tell anyone who will listen that Biola is the very best Christian University on the planet! I don't think it's close, with the resources Biola brings to the table.

  • Parker Nov. 5, 2014 at 4:57 PM

    Coming in hot at 161. The author forgot to mention where Biola University placed in the "top tier" category.

  • Steve Dec. 9, 2014 at 10:06 PM

    Dear Michael, UT is not a top law school, as demonstrated by your grammar. It's more like a middle-of-the-road tier-1 law school. - A fellow alum who's concerned you graduated P.S. I would bet your tuition dollars that the percentage of Biola grads who matriculate to the grad schools you mention is orders of magnitude lower than the percentage from the general population.

  • Charlie Dec. 31, 2015 at 4:26 PM

    After BIOLA I went on to do an MBA and graduate work at NYU and Oxford. BIOLA is still great and compares in its own right. Undergrad is undergrad these are all basic courses. BIOLA has the distinction of being a top Christian College. You don't go to Harvard to get a Christian education - for that BIOLA exceeds others. People know you went there in part based upon your faith. BIOLA needs more of its faculty to seek out public speaking in the media and peer reviewed journals that is how BIOLA will build an even better brand. But if you go to BIOLA you can be proud as they do have a great faculty. BIOLA should also create a visiting professor program and try to bring in committed Christians from Hillsdale and other great Christian colleges to share resources - Christians need to get smart and pool their talent. None the less BIOLA is a great school and community as it is.

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