ElonComm nabs third straight top-10 finish in BEA’s school rankings

The Broadcast Education Association, the premiere international academic media organization, released its third annual rankings celebrating consistent student success in the association’s Festival of Media Arts.

Max Wallace sits at a courtside table with Charlotte Smith.
Max Wallace ‘26 (right) interviews Charlotte Smith, Elon’s women’s basketball coach, following a February 2024 contest. The journalism major collected two awards at the 2024 BEA Festival of Media Arts, which helped elevate the School of Communications’ finish in BEA’s 2024 rankings of schools based on the creative achievement of their students.

Elon University’s School of Communications continues to build on its success in the Broadcast Education Association’s annual rankings of schools based on student achievements in the Festival of Media Arts, earning a third consecutive top-10 finish.

ElonComm placed ninth overall thanks in part to the school’s third-place finish in the Film and Video category. The school also finished eighth in the Interactive Multimedia & Emerging Technology category, with top-20 finishes in the News (No. 12), Sports (No. 12) and Documentary (No. 19) categories. The rankings were derived from the results of the BEA Festival of Media Arts, an international media competition focused on student and faculty creative endeavors.

A graphic highlighting Elon's rankings in BEA categories.According to the BEA news release, the rankings – which are based on the past five-year period of student success – are not an overall evaluation of an academic program, but an evaluation of the quality and consistency of students’ creative works produced at one institution compared to those at other institutions.

The top 10 overall programs consisted of – in order – Arizona State University, University of Oklahoma, Syracuse University, University of Florida, Missouri State University, Huntington University, Ball State University, Taylor University, Elon and Rowan University.

“As always, we are in very good company and should be proud of our student success on a national level,” said Vic Costello, associate professor of cinema and television arts, and former BEA president. “This ranking represents really, really good work from our students. They are going head-to-head with the other universities that regularly enter the BEA Festival of Media Arts and we are standing side by side.”

Costello noted that unlike business schools, communications programs have no overarching national rankings. But Elon’s continued success in the BEA school rankings serves as “validation of the quality of our student work,” he said.

Elon students collected a total of nine awards in BEA’s 2024 Festival of Media Arts, with Max Wallace ’26 leading the way with two awards. The Elon journalism major earned a second-place finish for his segment on Phoenix baseball player Kenny Mallory Jr. ’25 in the festival’s Video Story/Feature (short) category, as well as an Award of Excellence in the Audio/Video Sports Event: Play by Play Talent category. Additionally, Brendan Antrosiglio ’23 earned a second-place finish for his “All In Her Mind & A Year Went By” submission in the Music Video category.

In the last five years alone, nearly 7,000 student creative works were submitted from BEA’s more than 300 member institutions around the globe.

Only the top 20% of entries become a festival winner. There are five levels of awards: Best of Festival, First Place, Second Place, Third Place, and Award of Excellence. The rankings take into account both the quantity and quality of student works. For instance, Best of Festival winners are given a higher weight than Awards of Excellence. While the BEA honors outstanding achievements of both faculty and students, the rankings focus solely on student accomplishments.

The Broadcast Education Association is the premiere international academic media organization, driving insights, excellence in media production, and career advancement for educators, students, and professionals. The Festival of Media Arts was created and is organized by BEA faculty across the globe to honor the amazing works of both students and faculty.

Rankings recap

How did ElonComm do this year compared to the last two years? Check out the rankings below.

Overall: No. 9
(No. 9 in 2023, No. 6 in 2022)

Documentary: No. 19
(No. 20 in 2023, No. 21 in 2022)

Film and Video: No. 3
(No. 3 in 2023 and 2022)

Interactive Multimedia and Emerging Technology: No. 8
(No. 2 in 2023 and 2022)

News: No. 12
(No. 13 in 2023, No. 12 in 2022)

Sports: No. 12
(No. 20 in 2023, No. 15 in 2022)