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Tennessee Colleges and Universities

It’s hardly a wonder why today’s best and brightest aspiring leaders of tomorrow have ever-inquiring minds that insatiably thirst for new knowledge of all kinds. As such, it doesn’t take a quantum mental leap to reach the logical conclusion that correctly deducing which higher educational institution can provide the best preparation for lifelong intellectual stimulation is the most vital prep test for prospective students.

Thus, a very truncated outline of fine academic venues inside the Volunteer State is designed to be a basic guide to cultivate vast latent gifts lying in dormant waste.

Most Quality Tennessee College Quotient Methodology is Quite Methodological

Featured institutions are listed in respective order of most recently published relative ranking by recent U.S. News & World Report. Not surprisingly, but purely coincidentally, all post-secondary schools are located in Tennessee’s capital Nashville.


1. Vanderbilt University $48,838 6,851 13.1%

Without meaning to suggest any jest whatsoever, a very safe bet is hereby proposed that the vast majority of site visitors cannot afford to make. Virtually all readers would be highly upset to see any name except the one above in this top slot. Variously known as “Vandy” affectionately, Vanderbilt is a private University comprised of four undergraduate colleges, six graduate and professional schools and several world-renowned prestigious research centers.

Undergraduate subdivisions include the College of Arts and Science, Peabody College, the School of Engineering and Blair School of Music. However, despite heavy academic duties, almost half of all undergrads are actively involved in the Great Vandy Greek life. Such extracurricular recreation between regular bouts of higher education seem to be just what the doctor ordered, as Vanderbilt ranks within U.S. News & World Report Top 15 National Universities in 2015.

2. Tennessee State University (TSU) $7,128 (in-state) 7,073 53.0 %

TSU has come a mighty long ways since the days of its original establishment as the “Agricultural and Industrial State Normal School for Negroes” who had to wait 3 years before attending their first class session. Today, TSU holds dual distinctions as sole Volunteer State-supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and Thurgood Marshall College Fund member institution.

While coursework must of course always come before play, TSU students never face a single rare dull spare moment. Common selections from much larger collections include more than 100 student groups, forensic debate competition and NCAA-sponsored TSU Tigers sports events.

TSU’s equally diverse curricular offerings menu features 45 different bachelor’s degrees, a total of 24 master’s degrees and 7 separate PhD programs. Such rich scholastic variety combined with many proprietary initiatives like a specialized program that caters to select students who consistently exhibit high motivation and academic prowess makes TSU more than worthy of ranking within Tier 2 U.S. News & World Report 2016 Best Colleges is National Universities.

3. Aquinas College $20,550 415 61.0%

Bearing a given name to honor St. Thomas Aquinas is probably the best clue that this college is a private Roman Catholic post-secondary academic facility. Since its humble beginnings as a school for religious sisters in 1928, Aquinas College has grown to become fully recognized as a bona fide institution of higher learning that offers bachelor’s degrees in Liberal Arts, Teacher Education, Business and Nursing. Besides all that, Aquinas College launched two then new graduate Education and Nursing degree programs during 2012.

Just two years later, Aquinas College officials implemented a novel planning strategy dubbed “Vision 2020: Truth & Charity.” This strategic plan targets three priority objectives that include founding a four-year study-abroad program in Bracciano, Italy.

Considering all described above and many other significant consistent efforts that clearly demonstrate a strong commitment to educate with highest quality, it’s obvious why Aquinas College ranked within 2015 U.S. News & World Report Top 15 Best Regional Colleges in the South. Far more telling is the fact that that ranking is twice as high as Aquinas College’s prior year 30th place ranking within the same regional category. Finally, U.S. News & World Report further recognized Aquinas College for going from 7th Best 2014 Veterans’ College, to 4th best in the same 2015 category.

4. Belmont University $30,000 5,837 82.7%

This former “Belmont Seminary for Women” has indeed come a mighty long way since the first day it of its 1889 founding– in more ways than one. Besides growing up to become what is now Tennessee’s biggest Christian university, Belmont plays second fiddle behind none other than Vanderbilt as Volunteer State Biggest Private University Number Two.

Besides such purely numerical quantity, Belmont U. has huge quantities of highest-quality knowledge bases distributed across 75 different bachelor’s degrees offered by 7 separate colleges. Belmont also provides prospective graduate scholars with 20 distinct master’s degrees and 4 unique Ph.D. programs from which to choose.

Just a few years before this writing, Belmont joined hands with Hospital Corporation of America and conceived a novel health sciences consortium with several other Nashville universities that has relieved severe healthcare practitioner shortages throughout local communities. Similar outreach efforts have borne huge harvests of back-to-back bumper crops for Belmont’s New Century Journalism majors who now easily reap vast rewards of valuable experience gained via clinical internships at CBS Evening News, BBC and the Oprah Winfrey Show – just to name a few big-name mass broadcast game players.

In view of these and other exceptionally progressive sustained efforts too numerous to cite herein, it’s no more than right that Belmont University was singled out for special recognition by U.S. News & World Report as the 5th Best Regional University in the South for 2015.

5. Fisk University $20,858 730 83.4%

Founded in 1866, Fisk is a private HBCU with a 40-acre campus that’s listed by as an official historic district by the National Register of Historic Places. Another monumental “Fisk First” historical moment occurred in 1930, with unheard of HBCU regional accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Needless to say, that event gave way to a very fast and furious succession of numerous specialized accreditations for niche degree programs.

Fisk has produced so many famous alumni that a full listing would fill several pages. However, here are a few more recognizable samples to savor:

• Ida B. Wells – civil rights activist and women’s suffrage advocate.
• Marion Barry – former Washington, D.C. mayor.
• W.E.B. DuBois, noted sociologist who later became Harvard University’s first African American Ph.D. conferee.

Fisk was also in an elite clique of just 4 HBCUs able to meet very stringent threshold standards for Tier 1 status among U.S. News & World Report Best National Liberal Arts Colleges for 2011. Far more remarkably, just 246 institutions made the Tier 1 grade of a total composite that was originally comprised of 1,400 institutions ranked throughout the nation that same year. Finally, Fisk University is ranked 171st U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges is National Liberal Arts Colleges for 2016.


At this final juncture, it should be self-evident that Tennessee is home to many fine colleges and universities. Thus, before summarily dismissing Tennessee as nothing but a vast backwoods of backward thinking with empty-headedness vs. open mindedness, pause for a moment. Ask yourself if you are surprised to hear about all the incredible schools in Tennessee and then ask yourself if you think it might make sense for you to try to attend one of them.