Up-and-Coming Colleges Offer Top Colleges New Competition

These colleges may not be at the top of the rankings (yet), but they're tops for innovation.

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Finally, one college that made our list has taken a bold step to show everyone it considers itself a school on the move. As we were compiling our rankings, Villa Julie College in Stevenson, Md., announced that it had changed its name. Founded in 1947 as a one-year school for medical secretaries, it sees its strengths today in career-focused liberal arts education and accelerated adult and master's degree programs. Villa Julie's new name: Stevenson University.

Schools to Watch

Here is a selection of 70 colleges and universities

identified by top college officials in spring 2008 as
schools that have recently made the most promising
and innovative changes in academics, faculty, students,
campus, or facilities. They are ranked against other
schools within the categories we use for our regular
rankings. National Universities

1. George Mason Univ. (VA)*

2. Clemson University (SC)*
3. U. of Southern California
4. Arizona State University*
5. Univ. of Md.-Baltimore County*
6. Drexel University (PA)
7. Portland State Univ. (OR)*
7. Univ. of Central Florida*
9. Azusa Pacific Univ. (CA)
9. Univ. of Calif.-Riverside*
9. Univ. of N.C.-Charlotte*
9. Univ. of San Diego (CA)
9. Univ. of S.C.-Columbia*
14. Ball State Univ. (IN)*
14. Indiana Univ.-Purdue Univ.-Indianapolis*
14. Northeastern Univ. (MA)
14. Ohio State U.-Columbus*
14. Univ. of California-Irvine*
14. Univ. of California-San Diego*
14. University of South Florida* Liberal Arts Colleges

1. Davidson College (NC)

2. Ursinus College (PA)
3. Furman University (SC)
3. Pitzer College (CA)
5. Berry College (GA)
5. Univ. of N.C.-Asheville*
7. Berea College (KY)
7. Christopher Newport University (VA)*
9. Agnes Scott College (GA)
9. Cornell College (IA)
9. Franklin & Marshall College (PA)
9. Univ. of Richmond (VA)
9. Wofford College (SC)
14. Allegheny College (PA)
14. Calvin College (MI)
14. Kalamazoo College (MI)
14. Univ. of Puget Sound (WA) Universities-Master's


1. Quinnipiac University (CT)

2. Wagner College (NY)
3. College of New Jersey*
4. Marist College (NY)
4. Univ. of Scranton (PA)
6. Salve Regina Univ. (RI)
7. Bentley College (MA)
7. Loyola College in Maryland
7. SUNY College of Arts and Sciences-Geneseo (NY)* SOUTH

1. Elon University (NC)

2. Belmont University (TN)
3. Appalachian State U. (NC)*
4. Kennesaw State U. (GA)*
5. James Madison Univ. (VA)*
5. Union University (TN)
5. Univ. of N.C.-Wilmington*
8. College of Charleston (SC)*
8. Xavier Univ. of Louisiana MIDWEST

1. Alverno College (WI)

1. Grand Valley State U. (MI)*
3. Valparaiso University (IN)
4. Baldwin-Wallace College (OH)
4. Butler University (IN)
4. Creighton University (NE)
4. Xavier University (OH) WEST

1. Abilene Christian U. (TX)

1. Chapman University (CA)
3. Pacific Lutheran U. (WA) Baccalaureate Colleges


1. Stevenson University (MD)


1. High Point University (NC)

2. Anderson University (SC)
2. LaGrange College (GA) MIDWEST

1. Adrian College (MI)

* Public