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U.S. News & World Report ranks SMC

Bridget Feeney | Thursday, September 27, 2012

For the fourth year in a row, U.S. News and World Report ranked Saint Mary’s College among the top-100 Best National Liberal Arts Colleges. The College came in at No. 87, up from No. 90 last year. This year marks the fourth year in a row the College’s position has moved higher in the U.S. News and World Report rankings.

In a recent press release, Saint Mary’s President Carol Ann Mooney said she is extremely satisfied with the progress the College has made each year.

“We know that national rankings are important to many high school students in their college search,” she said. “I am very pleased that Saint Mary’s College is ranked among the top-100 Best National Liberal Arts Colleges for the fourth year running. Students graduate from Saint Mary’s with an education that challenges their minds, awakens their imaginations and instills in them the desire to leave the world a better place.”

Student body vice president Meghan Casey said Saint Mary’s allows for unique opportunities and one-of-a-kind experiences.

“I believe the students here know what a great school it is and to see actual proof that our ranking has moved up solidifies my feelings that Saint Mary’s is such an outstanding institution,” Casey said.

The College works to benefit each and every student the best education possible, Casey said.

“Our education is individual and Saint Mary’s strives to give each student the best education that they can receive,” Casey said. “Saint Mary’s determination to empower students can be attributed to this increase in our position.” U.S. News and World Report determines placement on the list bysassessing criteria from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, which parents, students and teachers consult when exploring higher education opportunities.

The report also considers alumni giving, peer assessment, student selectivity and financial resources, as well as high school counselor assessments and faculty resources.

The Saint Mary’s Office of Institutional Research reports 93 percent of students who graduate from Saint Mary’s do so in four years. According to a recent press release, this high graduation and retention rate also contributed to the College’s inclusion on the list.
This ranking comes just several weeks after the College received national recognition from The Princeton Review, which named Saint Mary’s on its “Best Colleges in the Midwest” list for the 10th year in a row.

Director of Media Relations Gwen O’Brien said the “impressive” ranking is an invaluable asset to theeCollege and is especially important for its contribution to Mooney’s goals.

“This ranking is affirmation that we are on course to meet a key goal in the College’s strategic plan, which is to provide ‘Educational Excellence Equal to that of the Best Colleges in the Country,'” she said. “This is one of the goals President Mooney set early in her presidency. … Under her leadership, the excellent academic reputation of Saint Mary’s College continues to grow and our peers are taking notice. Our hope is this ranking instills pride in students, faculty and staff alike.”

Casey said the report is a point of pride for fellow students.

 “I believe the ranking validates students’ positive opinion of our unique education and that we are getting an education [that is] very special,” Casey said. “Being a student leader, seeing our school excel and the proof that we are ranked highly makes me proud of being a leader at such an amazing institution. I am proud to call Saint Mary’s my college.”