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King University News :: U.S. News Names King University "Best Regional University;" Lightest Student Debt Load among Southern Universities

The U.S. News and World Report’s 2014 edition of America’s Best Colleges lists King University among the “Best Regional Universities” in the South.  This year’s ranking is King’s 24th consecutive appearance in the annual publication.  U.S. News also ranked King as having the lightest student debt load among Southern universities.

“King is very pleased to be included in the recent U.S. News Best Colleges report,” states Dr. Matt Roberts, chief academic officer and dean of academic affairs for King University.  “This acknowledgement demonstrates King's commitment to affordable higher education.  As colleges and universities are being held more responsible for student debt load, King University is proven to be a leader in the South.  King’s fee structure, which includes frozen tuition costs for the 2013-14 year, allows students an affordable option to maximize financial aid and decrease post-grad debt.”   

LeAnn Hughes, vice president for marketing and enrollment management for King University says, “Acknowledgement in the rankings as a ‘Best Regional University’ is a tribute to King’s long-held reputation of academic excellence.  Recognition as the university in the South with the lightest student debt load demonstrates our commitment to ensuring King students, in every platform, are graduating academically and financially prepared for their future.”

Through data compiled by an advocacy group, the Institute for College Access and Success, The New York Times reported the average amount of student debt at graduation has increased at a vast majority of colleges and universities in the United States.  The report’s data showed that King’s average graduate debt was significantly lower than that of its five neighboring public and private higher educational institutions.  Currently, King’s average amount of debt is only $10,892.  The reported average for the both public and private institutions in the state of Tennessee is $20,703. 

King’s innovative degree programs are designed to open the availability of an undergraduate or graduate degree to students and adult learners, thereby helping to strengthen the regional workforce, equip a new generation of health care professionals, and provide improved quality of life throughout Tennessee and Virginia.  Each year at King, 98 percent of students receive assistance, with more than $35 million awarded annually in scholarships, grants, loans and work-study.

“King continues to focus on making a quality education accessible as well as affordable,” says Hughes.  “King now supports four campuses and 10 additional instructional locations throughout Tennessee and Virginia and online.”   

King University continues to expand in Tennessee, most recently adding locations in Harriman, Blount County and Strawberry Plains. King will begin offering classes at a Nashville-area location in January.

King University has achieved record growth each year for the past 14 years.  Substantial growth in the number of traditional students is complemented by significant growth in King’s Graduate Professional Studies and Online Programs.  Collaboration with area community colleges has led to articulation agreements and reverse transfer agreements, providing ease of transition for students seeking to complete their bachelor’s degree.  King’s prior learning assessment program allows adult learners to receive course credit for prior learning, training and experience they may have gained outside a traditional academic environment. 

“The King University educational experience is uniquely designed to help prepare students to make meaningful and significant contributions to their communities through their chosen career paths,” says Hughes. 

Other recent accolades include King’s recognition for the past ten years as a “Best College in the Southeast” by the Princeton Review, and as a “Military Friendly School” for the fourth year by G.I. Jobs.  Additionally, King was named to the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.  This designation, announced by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), is the highest honor a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.



King University is a Presbyterian, master's-level comprehensive university.  Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities.  Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing.  A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available.  King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity athletic teams.  For more information about King University, visit  King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability.  King University is certified by SCHEV to operate locations in Virginia.  For more information, contact the King University office at Southwest Virginia Community College, 309 College Road, Richlands, VA 24641.