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~Wellesley College Ranks 4th Among National Liberal-Arts Colleges in U.S. News & World Report~

For immediate release:
August 25, 2003

Arlie Corday,

WELLESLEY, Mass. -- For the sixth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report has ranked Wellesley College fourth among national liberal-arts colleges. For the past dozen years, Wellesley has placed among the top five colleges in the annual listing.

"We are pleased that Wellesley College again has received national recognition for the high caliber of its liberal-arts education," said Andrea Levitt, associate dean of the college. "We believe that Wellesley's strengths as an institution in terms of students, faculty, staff and alumnae support are outstanding."

This year Wellesley follows Williams, Amherst and Swarthmore (ranked 1-3) and shares fourth place with Carleton and Pomona colleges. Wellesley received kudos for its campus diversity, ranking fifth among liberal-arts colleges in that category. In another nod, a photograph and caption singled out Wellesley's outstanding undergraduate research and creative projects, joining institutions including Harvard, Yale and other top private and public universities and colleges in an alphabetical listing.

In the category of "Highest Graduation Rate," Wellesley was ranked No. 8, with 91 percent. Under "Most Students Studying Abroad," Wellesley made the list with 58 percent. Wellesley also ranked ninth on the "Best Values: Liberal Arts Colleges Bachelors" list, which compares the actual cost of attending a college after factoring in need-based grants. Wellesley had an average discount of total cost of 52 percent. Wellesley also made the list of colleges and universities whose graduates carry the least amount of debt.

The 2004 issue also includes a lengthy feature on Wellesley with a number of student interviews. U.S. News writer Samantha Levine notes that Wellesley's "idealism can be a powerful influence on young women still learning about themselves and their role in the world. 'I believe more in myself and what I can do,' says (Deborah) Richman ('06), sitting in the window seat of her neo-Gothic dorm room and peering out over Lake Waban. 'I think that's kind of the point of being here.'"

Other outstanding categories for Wellesley include its level of alumnae support, which at 54 percent earned the College the No. 8 "giving rank" in the nation. Another standout category is average freshman retention rate, for which Wellesley boasts a 96 percentage.

The latest edition of U.S. News' "America's Best Colleges" was published in the weekly magazine dated Sept. 1 and in an annual guidebook. The information is also available on the web at

Wellesley College has been a leader in liberal arts and the education of women for more than 125 years. The College's 500-acre campus near Boston is home to 2,300 undergraduate students.


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