College Ranks Fourth Among Liberal Arts Colleges in U.S. News and First in New Washington Monthly Guide
August 23, 2005
For the eighth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report has ranked Wellesley College fourth among national liberal arts
colleges. For the past 14 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.
While pleased that Wellesley has received national recognition
for the high caliber of its liberal arts education, Wellesley
College President Diana Chapman Walsh also notes that rankings
can oversimplify the process of selecting a college. “High
school students need to probe beneath the rankings, learn about
distinctive features of particular college choices, and, in
the end, decide which will be the best fit for their own intellectual
and personal growth,” she said.
This year Wellesley follows Williams in the top spot with Amherst
second and Swarthmore third. In addition, Wellesley earned high
marks in the following categories:
- # 3 in best value among national liberal arts colleges, which relates “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,” according to the magazine.
- # 7 in the least average amount of debt among private liberal
arts colleges and #13 among public and private liberal arts colleges.
- # 2 in racial diversity – a figure that looks at student
representation in racial and ethnic groups, not including international
- # 3 in economic
diversity (tied with Bryn Mawr) as measured by the percentage
receiving federal Pell Grants. Smith
and Mount Holyoke hold Nos. 1 and 2 in this category, showing a
leadership role by women’s colleges in efforts to reach out
to lower-income students.
The latest edition of U.S. News' "America's Best Colleges" is
published in the Aug. 29 issue of the weekly magazine and in an
annual guidebook. Limited information is also available on the
Web at www.usnews.com/usnews/edu/college/rankings/rankindex_brief.php.
Also in late August, The Washington Monthly, a political magazine,
ranked Wellesley College
No. 1 among national liberal arts colleges
that graduate students who go into national and community service,
that spend more on beneficial research and that enroll and graduate
low-income applicants. For more on these new rankings, go to www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2005/0509.collegeguide.html.
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.