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Brookings Institution Ranks King University Third in Tennessee for Value-Added Based on Alumni Earnings Data

BRISTOL, Tenn., October 7, 2016 – Research performed by the Brookings Institution on the value colleges add to student outcomes ranks King University as tied for third in the state of Tennessee alongside Fisk University. Brookings utilized data and analysis of both two- and four-year colleges and universities to provide insight into how well these schools prepare students for high-paying careers.

The report, issued in April 2015, by Brookings Fellow Jonathan Rothwell and Senior Research Assistant Siddharth Kulkarni, was updated and re-released in Oct. 2015, after analyzing the Obama administration’s new College Scorecard database to produce value-added rankings for 3, 173 colleges (1,507 two-year colleges and 1,666 four-year colleges).

In the state of Tennessee, only two four-year schools received higher rankings than did King University. Vanderbilt University in Nashville ranked 99 out of 100, and Lincoln Memorial University ranked 88. Both King University and Fisk University tied for third in the state with a ranking of 70 out of 100. Other regional colleges and universities in Tennessee received the following rankings: ETSU 35, Milligan College 30, and Tusculum College 56.

“We are pleased with King University’s ranking in the Brookings report,” said Matthew Roberts, Ed.D., vice president for Academic Affairs at King. “The report speaks to the high caliber educational experience for which King University has been known over its 150 years. A strong classical instruction combined with the liberal arts and hands-on experience where possible provides King students with the knowledge and capability to enter the workforce highly prepared.”

The Brookings’ research finds that graduates of some colleges enjoy much more economic success than their characteristics at the time of admission would suggest. Four college quality factors are strongly associated with higher earnings for alumni including curriculum value, STEM orientation, completion rates, and faculty salaries. The research also concludes value-added measures are fairly reliable over time.

According to Brookings, “No ranking system is perfect, and there are many limitation and caveats with these data. Yet, the value-added measures here help fill an information void and can be used to inform strategies to improve college quality and help identify schools that are contributing the most to student economic advancement. There are many colleges with modest or low admission standards that consistently prepare students for high-income careers.”

The Brookings Institution, formed in 1916, is a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, D.C., whose mission is to conduct in-depth research that leads to new ideas for solving problems facing society at the local, national and global level.


King University is a Presbyterian-affiliated, doctoral-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 sports. 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 on SCHEV certification, contact the King University office at Southwest Virginia Community College, 309 College Road, Richlands, VA 24641.