Virginia Union Continues Upward Trajectory, Rising Again in National Rankings

September 12, 2022

(Richmond, Virginia – September 12, 2022) – Virginia Union University’s march to excellence continues, as the latest national rankings show Virginia Union rising more than 30 positions in just four years. 

Today’s announcement from U.S. News & World Report shows Virginia Union propelling upward, now ranking as the country’s 43rd-best HBCU, after breaking into the top 50 for the first time last year. The university was not ranked at all just four years ago, when the upward trajectory began: 

2022: #43 

2021: #48 

2020: #56 

2019: #72 

2018: Not ranked 

In addition, Virginia Union ranked #24 in the country for advancing social mobility, comparing some 200 national liberal arts universities. Only one Virginia university ranked higher than Virginia Union. 

“Social mobility” measures the extent to which schools enrolled and graduated students who received federal Pell Grants. These students typically come from households whose family incomes are less than $50,000 annually. Most Pell Grant money goes to students with a total family income below $20,000. 

"Virginia Union is making dramatic progress toward our goal of being the country’s top HBCU," said Dr. Hakim J. Lucas, President & CEO of Virginia Union University. "This move forward is a testimony to the hard work of our faculty, staff, students, and alumni. Working together, they are propelling this University forward, even while grappling with the pandemic. This is what professionalism looks like, it’s what teamwork looks like, and it’s what love for a University looks like. Make no mistake: We are just getting started.” 

U.S. News & World Report measures “academic quality using seven categories: outcome measures, graduate indebtedness, assessment by administrators at peer HBCUs, faculty resources, financial resources, student excellence and alumni giving. These indicators include input measures that reflect a school's student body, its faculty and its financial resources, along with outcome measures – such as graduation rates, first-year student retention rates, graduate indebtedness and social mobility – that signal how well an institution educates students and whether they eventually graduate.” 

Here is the full ranking and analysis of VUU.