When yearly college rankings were revealed, St. Mary’s was picked again as one of the nation’s top public schools. The College is ranked as one of the top five public liberal arts colleges in the nation by the U.S. News and World Report and moved up four spaces to 88 out of the country’s 100 top liberal arts colleges.
The Princeton Review recognized the College for its “happy students”, “high race/class interaction”, and “a strong commitment to the environment.” St. Mary’s “has all the intellectual stimulation of a private liberal arts school with none of the academic rivalry. Students throw around the word “community” like rice at a wedding.”
The College was also ranked as 89th in the country by Forbes magazine in 2009 and 2010. The Fiske Guide to Colleges gave St. Mary’s 4 out of 5 stars in academics, 3 out of 5 in social life, and 4 out of 5 in quality of living and listed the College as one of the best in the country for music study.
Despite the excellent rankings, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Wesley Jordan recommended that students choose their college on more than the ranking number alone.
“Our position within the rankings doesn’t change much from year to year,” he said. “It’s not the best way to evaluate colleges, but it’s a practice that families use, so we benefit from being listed.”
“Prospective students should use the information behind the rankings, rather than the mere rank. For instance, the U.S. News rankings include information about the percentage of students who return for their sophomore year.”
U.S. News bases its rankings on graduation rates and the opinions of high school counselors, among other factors. Many rankings are based on such factors as student/faculty ratios, class size and alumni donation rates as well.
“…We’ve been one of the top 100 national liberal arts colleges in U.S. News for many years,” said Jordan. “There are only five public colleges in the top 100… We can all be proud that a public college is so highly rated academically and is a place where students from many different backgrounds and with varied perspectives on life can be happy and successful.”