CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The University of Virginia has now moved up to third on a national ranking list among other colleges and universities.

The rankings were recently released by U.S. News and World Report. For three consecutive years, UVA sat at fourth.

UVA is now tied with the University of Michigan and the University of California, based on factors such as graduation rate and retention rate.

Stephen Farmer, UVA's Vice President for Enrollment, says this is something of which the administrators at the university are very proud.

Farmer says it's an indication of the positive culture at UVA.

UVA’s retention rate was 97 percent among first-year students while the graduation success rate was rated 94 percent.

“The retention and graduation rate statistics reflect the hard work and the sense of community among our students. I think it's really important that students be able to pull one another along, that they are able to support and encourage one another, that they see each other as teammates and not as competitors,” Farmer said. 

UVA is also ranked first among every public college or university in the state of Virginia, followed by William and Mary and Virginia Tech. Washington and Lee University was the top-ranked liberal arts college in the state. 

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