Facebook0Tweet0Pin0Submitted by The Evergreen State CollegeEvergreen’s Challenge Course is just one of the many unique aspects of the college helping earn it’s fourth place ranking.Considered among “America’s Best Colleges” for 2014, this year’s annual U.S. News & World Report rankings have pushed The Evergreen State College up a rung to fourth place among best public regional universities in the West, second in top regional schools for undergraduate teaching and 27th overall among private and public universities in the West.Evergreen also won top marks for offering outstanding first-year experiences for freshmen and for building “learning communities” that help students get to know one another and their faculty well.The rankings are based on graduation and retention rates, peer assessment, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, graduation rate performance and alumni giving. This year, U.S. News increased the weight of graduation and retention rates. As a result, outcome-related measures account for 30 percent of the rankings and are now the most heavily weighted factors.“U.S. News strives to provide students and their families with the most comprehensive data available,” said Bob Morse, director of data research. “Measuring outcomes is critical to understanding how well a school retains and educates its students.”The U.S. News rankings are the most widely read and influential in the United States.“While no single college ranking can capture the full picture of a college or university,” explained Evergreen spokesperson Sandra Kaiser, “reviews such as U.S. News, Fiske Guide, Princeton Review, Military Friendly Schools and others can provide useful information for prospective students and their parents. We’re pleased that we have once again been noted as one of America’s best colleges in all of these rankings this year.”The Evergreen State College is a public liberal arts and sciences college known for academic excellence, value and a distinctive interdisciplinary, student-centered approach to education.