National Awards and Distinctions
National College Guides
Outstanding students and alumni
National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)
Student Success in College
Open Doors: Report on International Educational Exchange
The Village receives national recognition
Historic and Beautiful Campus
National College Guides
Of the more than 4,000 four-year colleges and universities in the United States, approximately 350 are selective in admission and attract a disproportionate share of the nation's best students. Information about these institutions, including Wofford, is highlighted in a number of commercially published college guides, including:
U.S. News & World Report - America's Best Colleges
The Princeton Review College Guide
The Fiske Guide to Colleges
The Insider's Guide to the Colleges
Wofford has been recognized in these publications:
- U.S. News & World Report’s 2017 edition of “America’s Best Colleges” ranked Wofford 77th among national liberal arts colleges. Wofford also was included in the "High School Counselor Ranking" (#80) and "Best Value National Liberal Arts Colleges" (#47). (September 2016)
- Forbes’ “America’s Top Colleges” lists Wofford as #106, the highest-rated South Carolina institution. Wofford also is ranked #20 in the "Top 25 Colleges in the South," #89 in the "Top Private Colleges" and #55 among the "Top Liberal Arts Colleges." Forbes also ranked Wofford #91 among the "Grateful Grades Colleges." Wofford was the top-ranked college in the state on all lists. (July 2016)
- The Princeton Review’s 2017 edition of “The Best 381 Colleges” features Wofford among the best undergraduate institutions. The Princeton Review does not rank the institutions in its guide. (August 2016)
- The New York Times ranked Wofford #70 among "Top Colleges Doing the Most for Low-Income Students" (September 2015)
- Money magazine ranks Wofford # 86 on its "Best Colleges" list and #37 among its "50 Best Liberal Arts Colleges." (July 2016) It also lists Wofford as #48 on its list of "50 Best Colleges You Can Get Into."
The guides provide useful statistical information and offer interesting and different perspectives from campus-based view books and websites.
Wofford is profiled in all of these guides, and the college has earned national distinctions in non-commercial publications, such as the book “Student Success in College” and the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). Information on NSSE is available at www.wofford.edu/nsse.
'Best Value' Guides
About 40 percent of Wofford graduates participate in loan programs, but their level of debt is among the lowest compared to peer institutions. The default rate for the past four years has remained below 1.0, and for 2007, it was 0.0.
The Princeton Review listed Wofford among "Colleges That Pay You Back: The 200 Best Value Colleges and What It Takes to Get In - 2016 Edition" (February 2016)
Wofford College is ranked among the nation's best private college values in Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine, ranking it #116 in the "Top 300 Best College Values of 2016" (and the top institution in South Carolina on the list) and among the "100 Best Values in Private Liberal Arts Colleges" at #61 (January 2016).
Forbes named Wofford a "Best Value Private College," at #134. (March 2016)
Wofford consistently lands on “best value” lists of various other national college guides and publications.
Outstanding students and alumni
Since the Rhodes Scholarships began in 1902, Wofford has sent six graduates to study at Oxford University in England, including Rachel Woodlee of the Class of 2013.
In the summer of 2010, pre-med student Joseph McAbee (Class of 2011) was named the nation's only undergraduate Paulette and Denzel Washington Scholar. He worked with a nerosurgical research team at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, Calif. McAbee won the 2011 South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (SCICU) J. Lacy McLean Scholarship, which goes to the outstanding undergraduate student at its 20 member institutions.
Natasha Rudy, a biology major in the class of 2014, won the Sterling L. Smith Scholarship for 2012-2013, a single award presented annually by the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities consortium to an outstanding student who qualifies for a state Higher Education Tuition Grant. In her senior year, Rudy was again honored by SCICU as the J. Lacy McLean Student of the Year.
Regina Fuller, class of 2011 and a former Presidential International Scholar, spent the 2011-2012 academic year in Ghana as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar. More than a dozen Wofford graduates have won these scholarships over the past 30 years. Fuller is also a Fulbright Fellow and will be working in Brazil during 2014. Six Wofford graduates in the past five years have won competitive Fulbright grants, with five of them working in Germany or Austria.
Ben Ingram, class of 2005, eight consecutive wins on Jeopardy! In terms of winnings, one of the top 10 Jeopardy! champions of all time.
National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)
Wofford consistently scores in the top 10 percent of all five indices of the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). As a result of NSSE's Project DEEP (Documenting Effective Educational Practices) study, Wofford was featured as one of 20 benchmark campuses for engaged learning in "Student Success in College: Creating Conditions That Matter" (American Association of Higher Education, 2005). See Wofford's 2013 NSSE results.
Student Success in College TM
As a result of its participation in Project DEEP (Documenting Effective Educational Practices), Wofford is included in the resulting publication based on further research, recognized as one of 20 campuses that engage students.
"Most students, whether they were fourth-generation Wofford 'legacies' or the first in their family to go to college, told us that upon arriving they felt the college was a place where they would fit in and 'matter.'"
". . . students and faculty reported they develop meaningful relationships that extend well beyond the classroom, a 'tradition of putting the emphasis o the individual student (that) goes back 150 years.'"
". . . the faculty saw learning communities to be a vehicle to involve students more meaningfully in general education offerings."
"Building on successful interdisciplinary humanities courses and a well-received first-year learning community pilot, (Wofford) obtained a $200,000 Course, Curriculum, and Laboratory Improvement (CCLI) grant from the National Science Foundation . . . to take the innovative integrated learning community idea to scale."
"DEEP colleges and universities value international and study abroad experiences and infuse them throughout the curricula and the co-curriculum. Miami, Wofford, Gonzaga, and George Mason are among the ten universities with the highest proportions of students who study abroad."
The book was revised in 2010.
Project DEEP (Documenting Effective Educational Practices)
Project DEEP wa a study conducted by the Center for Post Secondary Educational Research at Indiana University-Bloomington to determine why certain campuses score exceptionally well on the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). Wofford was among the 20 campuses chosen to participate in the first Project DEEP in 2002-2003. Other campuses include Evergreen State College, Macalester College, Sweet Briar College, the University of the South, and Wabash College.
In 2003, more than 185,000 first year and senior students on 649 campuses participated in NSSE. Data was collected to measure five standards: (1) the level of academic challenge; (2) active and collaborate learning; (3) student-faculty interaction; (4) enriching educational experiences; and (5) a supportive campus environment. Wofford scored in the top quartile of all the colleges and universities on these benchmarks, and was in the top 5 percent in "student faculty interaction" and "supportive campus environment" for first year students.
See Wofford's 2013 NSSE results.
Open Doors: Report on International Educational Exchange (2015)
Wofford College ranks 6th in the country in the percentage of undergraduates receiving credit for studying abroad, according to Open Doors 2015, an annual report published by the New York-based Institute of International Education (IIE). Wofford consistently ranks in the top 10 or higher in this national survey.
Find out more about Wofford's international programs.
The Village receives national accolades
The Village, Wofford College’s apartment-style housing for its senior students, has been received a number of national recognitions.
The Michael S. Brown Village Center, the fifth phase of The Village, opened in the fall of 2011. It houses student loft-style apartments on the top two floors and classrooms, meeting spaces and The Space in the Mungo Center on the first floor. The facility earned the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Silver certification for sustainable features, including the use of recycled and recovered materials and its energy efficient elements, in 2012. It is the second Wofford facility to achieve LEED certification. The Goodall Environmental Studies Center at Glendale, S.C., received Platinum certification in 2010, the first academic building and only the third non-residential facility in South Carolina to achieve the highest level of LEED.
The $11 million project is a multi-purpose building that continues to reflect The Village’s “new urban” architectural concepts. The building provides 52,000 square feet of space. The first level has 21-foot ceilings, allowing for a mezzanine arrangement that creates student study and activity spaces. The main level includes specially equipped classrooms designed for group activities, The Space in the Mungo Center, general purpose classrooms, a food bar/deli and atrium dining space, a market and a patio area. The architect for Phase V is Summerour and Associates Architects Inc. of Atlanta, Ga.
In July 2008, The Village was named as the top “Dorm of Distinction” in its category by University Business Magazine, a national publication.
This was the second national honor for The Village, designed by McMillan Pazdan Smith Architects , PLLC, of Spartanburg. In October 2007, the complex was recognized nationally in the 27th Annual Builder’s Choice Design & Planning Awards presented by Builder magazine.
Wofford was chosen for University Business’ “Dorms of Distinction” honor for its ability to meet the needs of today’s student including:
• Making students feel at home
• Fostering a sense of community through interior and/or exterior spaces
• Helping keep students and their belongings safe
• Incorporating green elements in an aesthetically pleasing way
McMillan Pazdan Smith Architects "worked closely with Wofford toward a mutual goal – the creation of a stimulating and highly anticipated senior year experience for students,” says Ron Smith, managing principal with the firm. “The urban village environment creates a sense of community that engages immediately, creates a positive experience, and reinforces the student-to-college relationship.”
The Village is designed to provide a sense of community built around interesting residential architecture, front porches, bicycle and pedestrian-friendly streets, shops, outdoor recreation, and “hang out places.” It’s the “new urban” kind of place that Richard Florida has described in his series of books, most recently “Cities and the Creative Class,” where the three Ts (technology, talent and tolerance) take root and flourish.
The new urban concept developed in The Village complements Wofford’s historic district at the center of campus.
Phase III of The Village was completed for the opening of the fall 2008 academic year, allowing all of the college’s seniors to be housed in the complex on Evins Street. The 1,200-square-foot apartments each feature four private bedrooms, two full baths, a full-size kitchen, dining area with dinette set and four chairs furnished, four kitchen bar stools, large front porch or balcony with one rocking chair per student furnished, and more.
The Village also was featured in the Winter 2008-09 edition of Sandlapper magazine titled “It Takes A Village," which highlights the reaction of students living in The Village.
“The Village provides a residential setting that is the best kind of neighborhood for a college senior. There’s a sense of community built around interesting residential architecture, front porches, bicycle and pedestrian-friendly streets, outdoor recreation and ‘hang-out places,’” the magazine writes.
Historic and Beautiful Campus
Founded in 1854, Wofford is one of fewer than 200 existing American colleges founded before the Civil War, and one of an even smaller number of those institutions still operating on its original campus.
Wofford's 150-acre campus is home to Main Building and four original faculty homes that comprise the Wofford College Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The entire campus was designated the "Wofford College Arboretum" in November 2002 and Wofford is a member of the American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta. More than 5,000 trees have been planted on the Wofford campus since 1992 and 2,700 of those have been identified, cataloged and mapped for three self-guided tours.
The arboretum was named the Roger Milliken Arboretum at Wofford College in 2008, in honor of the late trustee and Wofford benefactor Roger Milliken, a Spartanburg businessman who died in 2010. Each year in October, the campus celebrates "Roger Milliken Day" in honor of Mr. Milliken's birthday by planting a tree on campus.
Wofford’s restoration and renovation of Main Building’s Leonard Auditorium received a “Project of Distinction” Award in College Planning & Management magazine’s 2007 Education Design Showcase, and the magazine recognized the project’s designers, McMillan Smith & Partners Architects PLLC in Spartanburg, for “Outstanding Architecture and Design in Education.” The project was included in the June 2007 issue of College Planning & Management’s Education Design Showcase.
The Leonard Auditorium renovation was part of an $8 million restoration/renovation of Main Building. The complete interior upgrade, completed in early 2006, restored Leonard’s 19th century appearance in tandem with improving fire protection and other considerations in the building. The project fully honored the college’s primary objective to recreate the original character of the auditorium.