VSU earns spot on best college list

Video from WALB
Published: Sep. 15, 2022 at 7:40 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 15, 2022 at 7:55 PM EDT
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VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - Valdosta State University (VSU) was one of the 12 Georgia schools that made it on the U.S. News and World Report’s Best Colleges list.

Blazers hold many trophies, drawing people from the region, Atlanta and Florida. Some students said that the location and sports play a huge role in their decision to attend VSU.

“My family is split between Florida and Georgia, so this was the midway point. So I can always feel like I’m at home. And since being here I’ve always felt at home because I was so close to both sides of my family,” Jycobi Williams, senior at VSU, said.

Whether it’s graduation and retention rates or undergraduate academic recognition, VSU faculty and staff said they’ve got it covered.

Dr. Robert Smith says he takes pride in being a part of VSU.
Dr. Robert Smith says he takes pride in being a part of VSU.(Source: WALB)

“U.S. News and World Report have been doing this for nearly 40 years. VSU is in a category called National Universities, so we’re ranked with the best universities in the country. Like Princeton, Harvard, MIT, Yale, Stanford and so on,” Dr. Robert Smith, Vice President of Academic Affairs, said.

Some may know VSU for its sports, but VSU is often recognized in multiple areas for academics also.

“The kind of institution we are, we’re not focused on curing cancer or doing that kind of high-end research. But we are focused on changing students’ lives for the better,” Smith said.

Many students say knowing it’s ranked one of the best makes them proud of the decision they made.

Sadie a junior at VSU says this school is close to home, that's why she chose to attend.
Sadie a junior at VSU says this school is close to home, that's why she chose to attend.(Source: WALB)

“It makes me feel better about going here. I love this school already, but knowing that it’s ranked top, it’s like wow I go to a top-ranked university,” Sadie Scott, junior at VSU, said. “My favorite thing about VSU is all of the activities that they always plan. It’s really involved as far as student life.”

Williams said it makes him proud to be a Blazer.

Jycobi tells me this school has always been good to him in multiple aspects.
Jycobi tells me this school has always been good to him in multiple aspects.(Source: WALB)

“I feel good about it. It makes me proud. It makes me have pride in the school I go to. When I travel and move and shake, I do wear VSU gear. And I guess now it holds some weight, so that’s good to know,” he said. “One of my favorite things about VSU is athletics. Just because I came from a school where athletics is big. So, coming to another school where again athletics is a huge part of the school.”

VSU earned spots in five categories. Economic Diversity, top performers on social mobility, ethnic diversity, undergraduate nursing programs and undergraduate business programs.

“This is really important for us because we’re ranked 46th in the nation in social mobility. And what that says is, VSU is one of the top institutions in the country, in terms of moving students from these socio-economic strata to a much higher one,” Smith, said.

University leaders also said being on a list like this shows they’re doing their jobs.