September 9, 2014
The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University were once again highly rated in national rankings of liberal arts colleges by U.S. News and World Report magazine.
SJU tied for 73rd and CSB tied for 89th among the top 100 liberal arts colleges in the magazine's 2015 college ratings, which were released Tuesday, Sept. 9. Both schools improved by several spots from their 2014 rankings (SJU was tied for 76th and CSB tied for 94th).
U.S. News ranked 249 liberal arts colleges (221 private, 27 public and one for-profit) which emphasize undergraduate education and award at least half of their degrees in the arts and sciences. Criteria for the rankings include graduation and retention rates; assessment by both academic peers and high school guidance counselors; faculty resources; student selectivity; financial resources; graduation rate performance (the difference between actual and predicted graduation rates); and alumnae/i giving (the average percentage of alumnae/i with bachelor's degrees who gave during 2011-12 and 2012-13).
The magazine also listed SJU in a tie for sixth on the "Up-and-Coming" list of national liberal arts colleges. College administrators in the spring of 2014 were asked to nominate institutions that had "made the most promising and innovative changes in the areas of academics, faculty, student life, campus or facilities."
CSB was named an "Up-and-Coming" school four of the last six years.
The U.S. News rankings also included a list of schools with outstanding academic programs commonly linked to academic success. These programs were selected by college presidents, chief academic officers and deans of admission offices in the spring of 2014 as providing undergraduate students with the best possible experiences.
CSB and SJU were again recognized with 28 other institutions for the quality of their study abroad program (there were no numerical ratings for this category).
"Programs at these schools involve substantial academic work abroad for credit — a year, a semester or an intensive experience equal to a course — and considerable interaction with the local culture," the magazine said of the study abroad category.