Here are this year’s top SC colleges, per U.S. News & World Report

The University of South Carolina is inching toward its cross-state rival in the latest U.S. News and World Report rankings.

USC moved up two places, to No. 104 best national university, while Clemson University slipped from No. 66 to No. 70, according to the 2020 rankings released Monday.

In specific program areas, USC tied for No. 44 best national public school, a slight increase from the No. 46 ranking it received last year. USC’s business program tied for a No. 38 ranking overall and No. 1 for its international business program.

The school’s first-year student experience was also rated No. 1 among the nation’s public universities. This is the first time in nearly 20 years U.S. News has included a numerical ranking for first-year experience programs, according to USC.

“The University of South Carolina offers students an experience unmatched by any other institution in the country,” President Bob Caslen said in a news release. “Students here have the opportunity to learn and grow in ways that position them to be future leaders in their own communities and around the world.”

The promise of boosting rankings has been a major selling point for Caslen, who became president last month. While he was the superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the school received several No. 1 rankings from U.S. News and World Report. Caslen has also vowed to beat Clemson on any possible playing field, whether that’s academic or athletic, according to a previous article from The State.

Clemson ranked No. 27 best national public school, slightly less than its No. 24 ranking last year. The school tied for a No. 54 ranking for best engineering school, beating USC’s engineering school, which tied for a No. 108 ranking.

Clemson tied Harvard University for the No. 17 most innovative national university in the country and ranked No. 34 for best undergraduate teaching for national universities.

Furman University ranked No. 5 for most innovative national liberal arts college, and tied for No. 12 best undergraduate teaching at national liberal arts colleges.

Schools are ranked by graduation and retention rates, the percentage of students from impoverished families who graduate, class size, student to faculty ratio, opinions of college presidents and deans, per-student spending, test scores and the percent of alumni who donate to the school, according to the report’s methodology page.

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Top ranked national colleges

No. 70: Clemson

No. 104: University of South Carolina

Top ranked liberal arts colleges

No. 46: Furman University

No. 72: Wofford College

No. 140: Presbyterian College

Nos. 164-215: Allen University, USC Beaufort

Best regional universities in the south

No. 2: The Citadel

No. 8: College of Charleston

No. 17: Winthrop University

No. 22: Converse College

No. 34: Bob Jones University

No. 38: Columbia International University

No. 41: Coastal Carolina University

No. 43 Coker College

No. 50 Anderson University (tie)

No. 50: North Greenville University (tie)

No. 54: Columbia College

No. 58: Charleston Southern University

No. 61: Francis Marion University

No. 75 (tie) Southern Wesleyan University

No. 82: South Carolina State University

Best regional Colleges in the south

No. 6: Erskine College

No. 9: Claflin University

No. 11 (tie): USC Upstate

No. 13: USC Aiken

No. 16 (tie): Newberry College

No. 29: Lander University

No. 49: Limestone College

Nos. 65-84: Benedict College, Morris College

Best Historically Black Colleges and Universities

No. 9 (tie): Claflin University

No. 29 (tie): South Carolina State University

No. 56: Benedict College

Nos. 59-76: Allen University, Morris College, Voorhees College