The travel website America Unraveled has compiled its first-ever list of America’s best small colleges, and Centre College came in at #6 in the nation.
The top-10 ranking placed Grinnell College at the top of the list, followed by Carleton, Sewanee, Bowdoin and Amherst, with Centre appearing ahead of Beloit, Bryn Mawr, Kenyon and Whitman.
Only colleges with student enrollment under 3,000 were considered, and the methodology looked at acceptance rates, cost, average debt, early career salaries and U.S. News & World Report rankings.
In particular, Centre was lauded for what it guarantees as part of the Centre Commitment: a study abroad experience, an internship or research opportunity, and graduation in four years. An average 85 percent of Centre students study abroad and 82 percent participated in an internship or conducted undergraduate research this past year.
Strong graduation outcomes were also listed as support for the high national ranking. Based on a 96 percent response rate for the Class of 2015, for which Centre has the most recent data, the College’s Center for Career & Professional Development reported that 98 percent of graduates were employed or pursuing advanced study within one year of graduation.
Finally, the America Unraveled ranking cited Centre’s increasing focus on opportunities for first-generation college students. In all, 74 first-generation students, or 18 percent, are represented in the Class of 2020, including the 10 students who comprise the second class of Grissom Scholars, a new premier scholarship designed specifically for first-generation college students that offers a full-tuition-plus scholarship.
Overall, 15 percent of the entire student body are “first-gens,” as they are often called, and that percentage has increased from 9 and 12 percent, respectively, the prior two years. At Centre, first-gen Class of 2016 graduates achieved an 89 percent graduation rate.
by Michael Strysick
February 6, 2017