The University of Virginia is distinctive among institutions of higher education. Founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819, the University sustains the ideal of developing, through education, leaders who are well-prepared to help shape the future of the nation and the world. The University is public, while nourished by the strong support of its alumni. It is also selective; the students who come here have been chosen because they show the exceptional promise Jefferson envisioned.
Since U.S. News began a separate listing of the top 50 public universities, U.Va. has never been ranked lower than No. 2. And in the history of the U.S. News Rankings, U.Va. has never dropped out of the top 25 listing of all national universities.