Analysis: CSB is most efficient among national liberal arts schools

Bookmark and Share

November 30, 2017

The College of Saint Benedict is rated No. 1 among national liberal arts colleges for operating efficiency, according to an analysis by U.S. News and World Report.

The analysis, released Nov. 27, compared per-student expenditures and educational quality.

The ranking is based on operating efficiency, which U.S. News defined as a school’s per-student spending on education-focused activities divided by its overall score, which the magazine used to determine schools’ numerical ranks in the 2018 Best Colleges rankings. Schools on the Best Colleges list (CSB was ranked No. 87 among national liberal arts colleges) achieved high ranks relative to the amount of money they spent.

Only schools ranked in the top half of the 2018 Best Colleges rankings were included in this analysis.

U.S. News measures financial resources by calculating how much a school spends per student on instruction, public service, research, student services, institutional support and academic support. Unrelated spending on amenities like dorms or cafeterias do not count.

The analysis shows CSB spent an average of $450.58 per index point, edging No. 2 Hope College of Michigan ($451.63). Two other Minnesota colleges were ranked in the top 25 among liberal arts schools – No. 9 St. Olaf College ($490.18) and No. 12 Gustavus Adolphus College ($513.72).

U.S. News factors the per-student financial resources calculation in to schools’ overall ranks because well-resourced schools can generally do more in terms of programs, course offerings and student services than poorly resourced schools to support their students.