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Westminster College Among National Leaders in Graduation Rate Performance

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Posted on Friday, September 13, 2002

Westminster College is among the nation's best in enhancing the educational achievement of its students, according to a national study that was just released.

U.S. News & World Report's 2003 Guide to America's Best Colleges cited Westminster as one of the nation's best in enhancing the educational achievement of its students. Westminster ranked in the top 10 among Liberal Arts Colleges, and in the top 20 in the country in graduation rate performance. Westminster College's 75% graduation rate was 14% higher than predicted.

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 1995, 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.

"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.

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching reclassified higher education institutions late in 2000 resulting in a new classification system for U.S. News & World Report. The former National Liberal Arts College category has been replaced by Liberal Arts Colleges - Bachelor's. This year 217 colleges were included in the category, and these institutions must award at least 50 percent of their degrees in liberal arts disciplines and emphasize undergraduate education.

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