The latest U.S. News & World Report annual Best Colleges guide is out, and Centre College once again distinguished itself among the best in the nation in numerous categories in the 2020 edition.
The highest ranking in an individual category was achieved in “alumni giving,” where Centre earned its place as #8 in the nation. Gifts and donations to one’s alma mater are regarded as one of the best indicators of satisfaction. They are also a key measure of institutional strength.
Centre’s 43 percent giving rate keeps company with other premier colleges such as Williams, Amherst, Bowdoin and Carleton.
The faculty of Centre College were equally honored, earning a #16 national ranking in the “Best Undergraduate Teaching” category. The distinction is shared with other top institutions, including Davidson, Swarthmore and Smith.
“Our students excel in large part because of the deeply personal relationships they develop with their professors, coaches, other supporters and peers,” says Ellen Goldey, Centre’s new dean of the College and vice president for academic affairs.
“Centre’s faculty and staff are top notch and look to the future with ambitious ideas, all while being grounded in a deep respect for our traditional mission to provide a transformative, liberal arts education. It is an ideal, and increasingly rare, combination.”
Importantly, this high level of academic quality was paired with affordability in the U.S. News assessment.
The “Best Value Schools” list once again includes Centre, with a ranking of #38 in the nation. To do well in this category, a college needs to excel according to three variables that calculate the ratio of quality to price, account for the percentage of students receiving need-based aid and consider average discount rate.
“This is perhaps the honor that makes me most proud,” says John Roush, now in his 22nd year as president of Centre College, “because it recognizes our continuing efforts to keep an excellent education within reach of families, helping them achieve the American dream of upward mobility.”
Finally, Centre was again included in the “Most Innovative Schools” category, now in its second year, ranked among the top-50 at #43 in the nation. The criteria for consideration involve innovative improvements in terms of curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology or facilities.
U.S. News has ranked Centre College in the top 50 for 22 of the last 24 years, and all but five years in its entire ranking, which dates back to 1983.
This year, seven colleges were tied at #46, followed by a group of four tied at #53, which includes Centre. Over the last five years, Centre has been ranked #53, #46 (twice), #45 and #49, for a median of 47.8. The ten-year average is slightly higher, at 47.1.
Centre’s highest recent ranking is #42, which it earned in 2011.
by Michael Strysick
September 9, 2019