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Westminster College Leads Nation in Graduation Rate Performance

Posted on Friday, September 1, 2000

Westminster College is tops in the country among National Liberal Arts Colleges in graduation rate performance, according to a national study that was released Sept. 1.

U.S. News & World Report's 2001 Guide to America's Best Colleges cited Westminster as one of the nation's best in enhancing the educational achievement of its students.

The indicator, developed by U.S. News and previously called "value added," is designed to capture the effect of the college's programs and policies on the graduation rate of its students. U.S. News arrives at the score by measuring the difference between a school's six-year graduation rate for the class that entered in 1993, and the predicted graduation rate for the class. The predicted graduation rate is calculated using a formula that accounts for the standardized test scores of these students and the school's expenditures on them over the years. If the actual graduation rate is higher than the predicted rate, the college is enhancing the students' achievement.

Westminster College's 78% graduation rate was 20% higher than predicted.

"We are pleased to be recognized by the national media for serving our students -- Westminster's number one objective. Westminster is a student-centered college, and this ranking reflects that commitment," said Westminster College President R. Thomas Williamson.

Westminster College is included with 162 other National Liberal Arts Colleges based on categories established by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. National Liberal Arts Colleges must award at least 40 percent of their degrees in liberal arts disciplines, emphasize undergraduate education, and tend to be more selective than those in the regional liberal arts category.

Westminster is also recognized by Yahoo! Internet Life as "one of American's Most Wired Colleges" and by the Templeton Guide as a "Character Building College."