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

For immediate release:
August 23, 2004

Mary Ann Hill,

WELLESLEY, Mass. -- For the seventh consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report has ranked Wellesley College fourth among national liberal-arts colleges. For the past 13 years, Wellesley has placed among the top five colleges in the annual listing. Although there is not a separate category for women’s colleges, Wellesley continues to be the highest ranked women’s college.

"Although no survey can capture the essence of the extraordinary educational experience that Wellesley provides, we are pleased that the College has received national recognition for the high caliber of its liberal-arts education," said Andy Shennan, 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 in the top spot and Amherst and Swarthmore , who are tied for second. Wellesley received kudos for its "campus diversity," ranking fourth among liberal-arts colleges in that category. In another nod, Wellesley was recognized for its 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 "Best Values: Liberal Arts Colleges Bachelors," Wellesley was ranked fifth on the list, which considers "a school’s academic quality, as indicated by its U.S. News ranking, to the net cost of attendance for a student who receives the average level of financial aid." Wellesley was ranked twelfth among private colleges whose graduates carry the least amount of debt.

Other outstanding categories for Wellesley include its level of alumnae support, which at 53 percent earned the College the No. 9 "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 August 23 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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