Here’s how UNC Pembroke fared in latest US News college rankings 

By Sarah Nagem

The University of North Carolina at Pembroke ranked in the top half in a new list of best regional universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report. 

The Robeson County institution came in at No. 56 out of 136 universities. 

It ranked 22nd among top regional public schools in the South, tying with Francis Marion University in Florence, South Carolina. 

U.S. News & World Report says it used 17 academic-quality measures to determine the 2022-2023 rankings, which were released this week. Measures include graduation and retention rates, social mobility and financial resources for students. 

UNC Pembroke received its highest rankings for “most innovative schools” (No. 11) and “social mobility” (No. 13).

The most innovative schools were nominated by “top college officials” who identified schools “that are making the most innovative improvement in terms of curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology or facilities,” according to U.S. News. 

Social mobility was determined by opportunities for low-income students. 

“Economically disadvantaged students are less likely than others to finish college, even when controlling for other characteristics,” U.S. News said. “But some colleges are more successful than others at advancing social mobility by enrolling and graduating large proportions of disadvantaged students awarded with Pell Grants.” 

Federal Pell Grants are typically awarded to undergraduate students in extreme financial need. 

Here are other rankings for UNC Pembroke among regional universities in the South: 

  • No. 26 for best colleges for veterans 
  • No. 50 for best value 
  • No. 206 for nursing 

UNC Pembroke is one of three Promise schools in North Carolina, along with Elizabeth City State University and Western Carolina. Students at the schools pay $500 per semester for in-state tuition and $2,500 for out-of-state tuition. 

UNC Pembroke Chancellor Robin Gary Cummings talks about the school last fall.
File photo by Les High