2022 Fiske Guide to Colleges "Best Buy School" badge

Colleges of Distinction

UNC Asheville has again been recognized for its honorable commitment to engaged, experiential education by Colleges of Distinction. In addition to being named a College of Distinction, UNC Asheville is also listed among the best public colleges nationally, best colleges in North Carolina, and best colleges for Business Education and for Equity & Inclusion as part of the 2022-23 cohort.

The Colleges of Distinction selection process comprises a sequence of in-depth research and detailed interviews with the schools, accepting only those that adhere to the Four Distinctions: Engaged Students, Great Teaching, Vibrant Community, and Successful Outcomes. As an Equity & Inclusion College of Distinction, UNC Asheville makes a concerted effort to promote fair treatment and access at all levels, with resources and programming that grant extra support to underrepresented communities. For the Business Education endorsement, Colleges of Distinction considered such qualities as accreditation, breadth of program, advising and mentoring, integration of career services, and successful outcomes for students.
– Colleges of Distinction, 2022-2023

2021-2022 Colleges of Distinction in North Carolina badge        


U.S. News & World Report

UNC Asheville has once again earned a top-10 ranking from U.S. News & World Report in its annual Best Colleges roundup, coming in at #8 for Top Public Schools in the National Liberal Arts Colleges category. In recognition of its focus on access and academic and co-curricular opportunities, the University also received high marks in the Social Mobility category, landing at #60 in the nation. Additionally, UNC Asheville earned spots on the Best Colleges lists for Business, Computer Science, and Engineering programs. – U.S. News & World Report’s “2023 Best Colleges” (September 2022)

The Princeton Review

UNC Asheville is featured in The Princeton Review’s 2023 edition of The Best 388 Colleges, ranking #6 in the Review’s new “Green Matters: Everyone Cares About Conservation” list, #9 in the “LGBTQ-Friendly” list, and #15 in the “College City Get High Marks” list, among others.

“Since 1992, when we debuted our multiple ranking lists as an alternative to a single academics-only mega list, our mission has been to give students a more useful resource to find the best college for them,” said Rob Franek, Editor-in-Chief of The Princeton Review. “Our selection of the colleges in this book is based on our opinion of their academic offerings. We recommend each one as an academically outstanding choice for an applicant. Our ranking lists, however, are not based on our opinions of the colleges. They’re entirely based on what the schools’ own students have told us about their experiences at them.”

The Princeton Review’s new “Green Matters” list is based on student ratings of administration and student support for environmental awareness and conservation efforts. UNC Asheville is also featured on the Green Colleges list, and Best Southeastern Colleges list, which are unranked. The full list of rankings includes:

#6 Green Matters: Everyone Cares About Conservation
#9 LGBTQ-Friendly
#15 College City Get High Marks
#17 Town-Gown Relations are Great
#22 Most Politically Active Students
#25 Best Quality of Life

The Fiske Guide to Colleges

UNC Asheville is once again named a “Best Buy.” Only 10 public and 10 private universities make the Fiske Guide Best Buy list each year, selected from the more than 300 four-year schools featured in the publication. – The Fiske Guide to Colleges 2022 Edition (July 2021)

College Raptor

UNC Asheville is featured in College Raptor’s 2023 rankings as a Hidden Gem College in the Southeast, and as one of 25 Hidden Gem Colleges for the Middle Class, based on affordability. It is also the only public university in North Carolina to rank as a Hidden Gem College in the Southeast. The ranking is designed to bring attention to colleges with fewer than 7,000 students that might “fly under the radar,” but are notable for their academic, financial and social qualities.

Best Small College Town

Asheville can add ‘Best Small College Town’ to its running list of accolades. According to a 2022 ranking, the home of UNC Asheville landed at #9 on a list of the 50 best ‘small’ college areas to live and study in the U.S. UNC Asheville’s picturesque campus, nestled within the Blue Ridge Mountains, earned this Top-10 distinction not only in recognition of its natural surroundings but also its close proximity to a bustling downtown that boasts a vibrant arts scene.

Association for the Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business

UNC Asheville proudly maintains accreditation with AACSB International (Association for the Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business). We join more than 450 U.S. colleges and universities that have met this high standard of excellence. AACSB is the most recognized, rigorous, and prestigious international distinction afforded to programs in management and accountancy. AACSB praised UNC Asheville’s liberal arts mission, characterized by a unique interdisciplinary approach to undergraduate education, and commitment to lifelong learning. Less than one-third of management and accountancy programs in the U.S. earn this recognition and only 5 percent of the 16,000 business programs worldwide are accredited by AACSB.

Military Friendly® Schools

UNC Asheville was designated a 2017 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, a service-disabled, veteran-owned business. “UNC Asheville is an excellent choice for military members because it provides an exceptional Liberal Arts education at a public institution price. … It also is home to a veteran student organization, the Veterans Alliance, and proactively seeks to support Veterans in their transition into Higher Education.” – 2017 Military Friendly® Schools and Employers (November, 2016)

WNC Sierra Club

UNC Asheville was named “Green University of the Year” by the Sierra Club of Western North Carolina. In announcing the award, the Wenoca Chapter cited UNC Asheville’s significant sustainability initiatives and the work of the university’s Student Environmental Center. (December 2016)

Bee Campus USA

UNC Asheville has been a certified Bee Campus USA since 2016 and was the eighth educational institution in the nation to be recognized. The Bee Campus USA designation recognizes educational campuses that commit to a set of practices that support pollinators, including bees, butterflies, birds, and bats, among thousands of other species. (April 2016)

Arbor Day Foundation

UNC Asheville has been designated as a Tree Campus USA since 2018 by the Arbor Day Foundation. The Tree Campus USA program honors colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation. (March 2018)