Centre College maintained its place as one of the nation’s top-50 institutions in the recent U.S. News & World Report “best colleges” ranking, also receiving recognition in areas such as top faculty, best value and study abroad.
Coming in at #46 for national liberal arts colleges, Centre has earned top-50 status for 21 of the last 22 years and all but four years in the entire U.S. News ranking, which dates back to 1983.
“Consistent attention to quality has been our guiding compass,” said John A. Roush, now in his 20th year as Centre’s president, “along with a focus on high achievement and high opportunity. Though we appreciate external recognition, we count accomplishment in these areas as the true barometer of our success.”
Roush cites several factors as instrumental in strengthening Centre’s commitment to access and academic excellence.
Among these are successful progress on a $200 million capital campaign devoted largely to increasing student scholarships, a growing annual institutional aid budget, and the addition of two new premier scholarships. The full-tuition-plus Grissom Scholars Program for first-generation students is now in its third year and the full-ride-plus Lincoln Scholars Program for outstanding young people from around the globe is in its second. Both programs each award 10 new scholarships per year.
“All these elements combined,” Roush said, “made for yet another record year for enrollment. At the same time, we have been able to improve our academic profile and diversity by all measures.”
In individual categories, the College’s highest national achievement comes in the “Strong Commitment to Undergraduate Teaching” category, where the College’s faculty were ranked #16 for their “unusually strong commitment to undergraduate teaching.” Appearance on this list puts Centre faculty in the company of colleagues at other institutions such as Williams, Amherst, Pomona, Davidson and Middlebury.
Centre also distinguished itself as #31 in the nation in the “Great Schools, Great Prices” category. Criteria include the ratio of quality to price, along with the percentage of all students receiving need-based aid. This ranking echoes the continuous accolades Centre receives in other “best value” rankings by Kiplinger’s and Princeton Review.
And once again, Centre was distinguished for its strong study abroad program in another separate rating that focuses on “enriched offerings … linked to student success.” Outstanding institutions in this category are initially listed alphabetically, then later rank ordered. Last year, Centre came in at #3 in the nation.
Complete information about the 2018 U.S. News “Best Colleges” ranking is available here.
by Michael Strysick
September 12, 2017