Liberty University ranks No. 1 in study of 'most conservative colleges' in America

A sanctuary at the Thomas Road Baptist Church on the campus of Liberty University.

A sanctuary at the Thomas Road Baptist Church on the campus of Liberty University.  (AP)

Liberty University has been ranked as the most conservative college in America, according to Niche's ranking of the most conservative four-year higher education institutions in the United States.

Niche, a website that analyzes dozens of public data sets and millions of reviews to formulate rankings of the best schools and neighborhoods in the U.S., has unveiled its "2017 Most Conservative Colleges in America" list.

At No. 1 on the list is Liberty University, a private nonprofit Christian university in Lynchburg, Virginia, which was founded by evangelist Jerry Falwell Sr. in 1971. The school is now being led by President Jerry Falwell Jr, one of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's most prominent evangelical supporters. 

Niche gave the school an overall grading of "A-," while giving it an "A" for diversity, "A" for student life, "A+" for dorms, "A-" for academics and "B" for professors.

According to the website, there are two main factors that are taken into account when considering the rankings. Student surveys asking their own political leanings while in college accounted for an 80 percent weight in the rankings, while student surveys about the political opinions of others students at the college accounted for a 20 percent weight in the rankings.

As the school has a net tuition of $23,367 per year, it has a student-to-teacher ratio of 18:1 and has over 27,000 undergraduates. The school also hosted speeches by 2016 presidential candidates such as Trump, and Sens. Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders.

"This is a good school. Very conservative. Get used to hearing about politics," a freshman student wrote in a review of Liberty University on the website. "If you're telling yourself 'it won't be as bad as people make it out to be' you're wrong. I really enjoy the school and I've made a lot of friends but it makes me mad that our president pushes the Republican Party on the students."

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