Wellesley College Ranks Fourth Among Liberal Arts Colleges in U.S. News and First in New Washington Monthly Guide

For immediate release:
August 23, 2005
Arlie Corday

WELLESLEY, Mass. -- 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 students.

- # 3 in economic diversity (tied with Bryn Mawr) as measured by the percentage of students 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.