Conway, SC - CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - Coastal Carolina University is making its mark as one of the state's up-and-coming institutions for higher education, and now Forbes Magazine is recognizing it as one of the best in the nation.
The Conway-based school sits at No. 610 on the magazine's third annual review of "America's Best Colleges," falling 10 spots from its ranking in 2009.
Despite the slight drop, Coastal Carolina President David DeCenzo said making the list two years in a row is a testament to the strength of the university's educational foundation.
"It is another reflection and outside recognition of the quality of education at the institution," DeCenzo said. "I think it's something our faculty and staff should be proud of because their hard work is being seen by others."
The honor for Coastal Carolina comes just two months after school officials announced a major academic expansion that included the establishment of 10 new degree programs. Among the 10 newly constructed programs are two unique Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in the performing arts and three new master's degrees.
"We're adding majors because that's what we're hearing from people," DeCenzo commented. "We're not only looking to recruit, but we're keeping our ears and nose to the grind to find out what people are looking for."
Coastal Carolina joins 12 other South Carolina schools on the list, including the University of South Carolina, College of Charleston, Clemson University and The Citadel. South Carolina's Wofford College ranked the highest on the list at No. 58.
Forbes' third annual top colleges list reviews the top nine percent of 6,000 accredited universities in the U.S. The list is based off of a number of factors, including student satisfaction, post-graduate success, student debt, 4-year graduate rate and competitive awards.
Coastal Carolina's latest recognition adds to a handful of national nods the four-year university has received in recent years.
In addition to making Forbes' "America's Best Colleges" list in 2009, the school was named in October 2009 as a best college buy by Institutional Research and Evaluation, Inc.
"We don't do what we do in the classroom or on campus just for the list," DeCenzo said. "You do it because you have a commitment to quality education on the campus."