Centre College ranked #45 in nation by U.S. News
Centre College remains among the best of the best in American higher education according to U.S. News & World Report, coming in at #45 in the 2016 Best National Liberal Arts Colleges ranking.
Along with the impressive top-50 overall ranking, Centre excelled in separate categories for alumni giving and high school counselor assessment.
“Families throughout this nation and across the globe engaged in the college search process deserve to have their options open to external barometers,” said John A. Roush, Centre’s president. “It is gratifying to know that our mission to prepare students for lives of learning, leadership and service passes the test in every possible ranking.”
This is the second year in a row Centre has been ranked #45 and the third year in a row to be ranked in the top 50. In fact, the College has reached this pinnacle in 19 of the last 20 years and all but four years in the entire history of the U.S. News ranking, which dates back to 1983.
The alumni giving rank has also consistently placed Centre among America’s best colleges. Coming in this year at #12 in the nation, alumni giving is seen as one of the best indicators of institutional satisfaction.
The fact that recent graduates are employed or pursuing advanced study at an average 95 percent within a year of graduation is one reason Centre alumni undoubtedly offer such high approval through their donations.
Another factor might be that Centre alumni perceive their education as a positive return on investment. A recent PayScale survey ranked Centre #1 in Kentucky for alumni earnings across all commonwealth colleges and universities, public or private, in addition to among the best in the nation based on early-career ($40,900) and mid-career ($87,900) median salaries.
High school counselors continue to rate a Centre education with increasing value as well. Over the years, the U.S. News methodology has given added weight to this category, and it now accounts for 7.5 percent of the overall score, based on feedback from 2,600 public and private high school counselors. Centre’s ranking in this category has improved 14 spots over the last four years, jumping from #50 in the nation, to #44, #37, and the current #36.
The academic peer assessment rating saw improvement as well, moving from 3.4 to 3.5 on a five-point scale. This survey polls college presidents, chief academic officers and deans of admission. Because the category accounts for 15 percent of the overall score, even a fractional improvement such as a tenth of a point can be meaningful.
Both assessment ratings undoubtedly helped with Centre’s overall score increase from 71 to 72. In addition, Centre saw gains in its graduation/retention and student selectivity ratings, with a higher percentage of first-year students in the top 10 percent of their graduating class a key factor in the latter category.
While Centre’s dean of admission, Bob Nesmith, admits his excitement over the continued top rankings by U.S. News, he challenges prospective students and their families to visit as many campuses as possible.
“Numbers and percentages account for much,” Nesmith said, “but nothing can compete with spending time on a campus. Meeting faculty, staff and students and soaking up what you can by taking a class, eating in the dining hall and even spending the night, offer valuable insight not captured in statistics and rankings.”
The complete list of the 2016 U.S. News Best Colleges ranking is available here .
by Centre College News
September 9, 2015