With applications submitted and offers of admission now being mulled over by high school seniors across the nation, making the right decision about where to attend college weighs heavily on the minds of young men and women everywhere.
A new ranking by College Raptor hopes to make the process easier by using a methodology based on acceptance, freshman retention and graduation rates, all filtered through its earlier “best college” rankings.
When the dust settled, Centre College came in at #4 in the nation.
Centre had already earned a #14 ranking among all colleges and universities in the Southeast by College Raptor. Eleven of the institutions ahead of Centre are at least twice its size, and the cohort is impressive, with Centre keeping company with places like Davidson, Duke, Emory, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, and Washington and Lee.
In devising its smart choice ranking, College Raptor had a clear focus. “What really matters is student access and student success,” said spokesperson Tyler Hakes. “These schools represent smart choices for students because they’re institutions where students are most likely to get accepted, stay enrolled and ultimately graduate within four years.”
Data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) was used in the ranking, and Centre’s four-year graduation rate of 87 percent and a first-year retention rate of 90 percent helped earn the high mark. The graduation rate was highest among the 43 colleges included on the smart choice ranking.
“Because the Centre Commitment guarantees graduation in four years,” said Centre President John A. Roush, “the ranking doesn’t come as a complete surprise. We pride ourselves on making a high-impact college education not only affordable but also achievable for those who meet the College’s academic and social expectations.”
The Centre Commitment was launched in 2002 and also guarantees a study abroad experience and an internship or research opportunity. An average 85 percent of Centre students study abroad and 90 percent participate in an internship and/or undergraduate research, according to the most recent data for the Class of 2014.
by Michael Strysick
March 28, 2016