Forbes ranks Centre #32 private liberal arts college in the nation and #3 in the South

Posted by Centre News in Centre In The News, News, Rankings 01 Aug 2013

kinkade_john_teachingForbes’ most recent report of “America’s Top Colleges” once again lauds Centre among the nation’s best with a top-100 designation. Citing value among the key criteria for its rankings, Forbes explains that—unlike its peers—its sights are set directly on outcomes, asking the question: “What are students getting out of college?”

According to the Forbes rankings, Centre students are receiving top value. Ranked #80 overall out of the 650 public and private colleges and universities in the nation, Centre hits the mark when it comes to things that matter most to students: quality of teaching, great career prospects, high graduation rates, and low-levels of debt.

Centre also holds high rankings in two other Forbes categories found online. Nationally, Centre is #65 among all private colleges and universities and #32 among private liberal arts colleges alone. Regionally, Centre holds a #12 position among all colleges and universities in the South and is ranked #3 among liberal arts colleges alone, keeping company with Washington & Lee University and Davidson College.

Forbes distinguishes itself among the many college rankings by focusing “on educational outcomes, not reputations.” The Forbes methodology was created by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity (CCAP), founded in 2006 by Dr. Richard Vedder of Ohio University. The CCAP methodology concentrates on five ranking factors, each differently weighted: student satisfaction (25 percent), post-graduate success (35) student debt load (17.5), four-year graduation rates (11.25) and academic success (11.25).

Centre continues to impress in each of these categories with 97 percent of its students employed or engaged in advanced study within 10 months of graduation. This year, Centre claimed four Fulbright scholars and its first graduating class of Brown Fellows. Centre is the only private college in Kentucky selected to participate in the Brown Fellows Program, which helps outstanding students build leadership skills through independent study, community service and experiential learning.

The College’s over 80 percent four-year graduation rate reflects the strength of the Centre Commitment, which guarantees each student graduation in four years, a study abroad experience and a research or internship opportunity.

Academic success is par for the course at Centre, whose faculty is ranked #5 in the nation for “Best Undergraduate Teaching” by U.S. News & World Report. Students are challenged both in and out of the classroom, with opportunities to engage in collaborative research projects with faculty, internships around the nation and the globe, and eye-opening study abroad opportunities in places as diverse as Northern Ireland, Mexico, China and New Zealand.

All of this high achievement comes with equally high opportunity: Centre prides itself on remaining one of the most affordable private liberal arts colleges in the nation, with some of the most generous financial aid and scholarships. Over 90 percent of students receive some form of financial aid, and the College is dedicated to keeping it that way.

The value of a Centre degree continues to attract the best and brightest in Kentucky, the nation and the world as Bob Nesmith, dean of admission and student financial planning, explains.

“The 380 first-year students entering Centre this fall will not only be our largest enrolling class ever, but also our most diverse, with over 21 percent of students identifying as students of color,” he says. “Nearly equally split between women and men, the class is as talented as any we have enrolled, with midrange scores equivalent to 26 to 31 ACT.”

Ultimately, Centre’s stellar combination of nationally-ranked faculty, demanding curriculum and wealth of study abroad and real-world experience makes graduating Centre students some of the most competitive candidates for academic and professional opportunities of the highest caliber.

Vice President for Academic Affairs Stephanie Fabritius knows that students at Centre are exposed to a unique and transformative experience that continues to benefit them long after graduation.

“Students at Centre College have the opportunity to engage in any number of high-impact practices—both in and out of the classroom—and to work with some really outstanding faculty members,” she explains. “By participating in these practices, our graduates are intellectually nimble. They are able to move into professional school, graduate school or directly into employment after graduation, and in these venues, they are able to be strong communicators, practiced critical thinkers and excellent problem-solvers. Our students are lifetime learners and are able to adapt to the changing nature of our world—that goes a long way toward their success.”

To see Forbes’ “Top Colleges” list, click here.
The complete Forbes methodology is available here.

By Amy Wise