SUMMIT Making a Difference: U.S. News & World Report Ranks Agnes Scott College No. 1 Most Innovative School in the Country

Decatur, GA, September 9, 2019 — For the second consecutive year, Agnes Scott College is ranked No. 1 in the country among national liberal arts colleges on the Most Innovative Schools list in U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 edition of Best Colleges. U.S. News has also ranked Agnes Scott No.1 for First-Year Experience among all colleges and universities in the country. The leadership at Agnes Scott attributes this recognition to SUMMIT, the college’s signature experience that prepares every student to be an effective leader in a global society. As part of SUMMIT, each first-year student has a three-day leadership immersion experience in the fall (Legacy) and travels abroad for a weeklong course of study (Journeys) in the spring semester.


“We are extremely excited and proud to again be named the No. 1 Most Innovative School. With its focus on global learning and leadership development, SUMMIT has redefined a liberal arts education, offering students a unique academic experience that sets them on the path of success in their careers and in the world,” said Agnes Scott College President Leocadia I. Zak. “SUMMIT has been truly transformative for Agnes Scott and its students. We are proud to be recognized as one of the premier educational institutions in the country.”


According to U.S. News, the Most Innovative Schools ranking identifies “schools that the public should be watching because of the cutting-edge changes being made on their campuses.” It is based on a peer assessment survey in which college presidents, provosts and deans of admission nominate up to 15 colleges or universities “that are making the most innovative improvements in terms of curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology or facilities.”


“Before I came to Agnes Scott, I was timid and kept to myself,” said Ciara Thomas ’19, one of the first students who experienced four years of SUMMIT. “This changed tremendously while I was on my Journeys trip in Trinidad. Thanks to SUMMIT, the Trinidadian women I met helped me find the fire I never knew I had. Unbeknownst to me, it would lead to the founding of PathMakers, which is an interdepartmental support system at Agnes Scott dedicated to first generation college students.”


Agnes Scott ranked No. 2 as the Social Mobility Top Performer among National Liberal Arts Colleges. Agnes Scott has been a top performer since U.S. News began tracking social mobility last year. Additionally, Agnes Scott ranked in the top 5 nationally for Best Undergraduate Teaching, which recognizes institutions where faculty have a strong commitment to undergraduate teaching.


“The students are why we are here, and no one understands this more than Agnes Scott’s faculty, who are models of teaching excellence,” said Zak. “They care deeply about their work and are invested in their role of shaping tomorrow’s leaders, thinkers and game changers. Their passion, creativity and dedication foster the inspired and effective teaching happening in our classrooms.”


Please see the summary of all Agnes Scott College U.S. News rankings below:


Agnes Scott U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings

(2020 Edition)

National Liberal Arts Colleges

ASC Rank

Innovative Schools


Social Mobility


Undergraduate Teaching


Best Value


National Liberal Arts Colleges Overall


Academic Programs to Look For

First-Year Experience


Learning Communities


Senior Capstone


Study Abroad




Writing in the Disciplines


Service Learning


Undergraduate Research/Creative Projects



U.S. News publishes the Best Colleges guidebook annually. The 2020 rankings can be viewed on the U.S. News website.


Agnes Scott College educates women to think deeply, live honorably and engage the intellectual and social challenges of their times. Students are drawn to Agnes Scott by its excellent academic reputation, exceptional faculty and metropolitan Atlanta location—offering myriad social, cultural and experiential learning opportunities. This highly selective liberal arts college is known for its diverse and dynamic intellectual community. Through SUMMIT, it provides every student, regardless of major, with an individualized course of study and co-curricular experiences that develop leadership abilities and understanding of complex global dynamics.