Vanguard University (AG) of Southern California was again named in the top five of the best baccalaureate colleges in the West by "U.S. News & World Report" when that publication’s America’s Best Colleges 2009 rankings were released last week. Vanguard is ranked fourth in the western region for the second consecutive year. “We are honored to again be ranked by 'U.S. News & World Report' as a top five college,” said Vanguard University’s president, Murray Dempster. “This is an acknowledgement of VU’s ongoing commitment to academic excellence and to providing a quality education to our students.” The rankings are created by gathering data on quantitative measures accepted as reliable indicators of academic quality, as well as the publication’s view of what matters in higher education, to develop its rankings. The rankings take into account assessments by administrators at peer institutions, faculty resources, retention of students, student selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving and average graduation rate. Schools are categorized by classification and, in some cases, region. Vanguard was ranked fourth among baccalaureate colleges in the western region of the United States. "As a best baccalaureate college, Vanguard University is among schools that focus on the quality of the college experience," said Dempster. "It is exciting to be ranked in the top tier among these superb colleges and universities, and it is an extraordinary honor to be regarded so highly by our peers." Vanguard was also selected by "U.S. News & World Report" as a “Great Schools, Great Prices” college. VU ranks seventh in the West among baccalaureate colleges in this category. "U.S. News" relates a school’s academic quality, indicated by its "U.S. News" ranking, to the net cost of attendance, and follows the premise that the most significant values are among colleges that are above average academically. The full rankings are available in the current issue of "U.S. News & World Report," on newsstands beginning Monday, August 25. In addition, Vanguard University has been ranked as a 2009 Best Western College by "The Princeton Review." This distinction is published online at http://www.princetonreview.com, in the Web site feature "2009 Best Colleges: Region by Region." “Once again, it’s an honor for Vanguard to be recognized for our commitment to our mission to pursue knowledge, cultivate character, deepen faith and equip each student for a life of leadership and service," Dempster said. For more information about Vanguard University’s awards and honors, visit http://www.vanguard.edu/pr/aboutvu.