Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - Westminster College ranked tied for fourth among top-tier National Liberal Arts Colleges in graduation rate performance, according to the 2013 U.S. News Best Colleges rankings.
The Graduation Rate Performance category measures educational outcomes based on the difference between a school's actual graduation rate and the one predicted by U.S. News based on the students' test scores and institutional resources.
Westminster's 74% graduation rate was 12 points higher than predicted and trailed only Vermont's St. Michael's College (+20), Kentucky's Berea College (+16) and Georgia's Spelman College (+15) among top-tier National Liberal Arts Colleges. Sokia University of America (Calif.), St. Mary's College of Maryland and St. Vincent College (Pa.) also had +12 graduation rate performance marks.
U.S. News states graduation rate performance is an indicator of added value and shows the effect of the college's programs and policies on the graduation rate of students after controlling for spending and student characteristics such as test scores and the proportion receiving Pell grants. The college is enhancing achievement if the actual rate is higher than the predicted rate.
Westminster was also recognized as an "A-Plus School for B Students." This U.S. News category recognizes exceptional schools that seek a broad, engaged student body, and admit a meaningful proportion of applicants whose test scores and class standing put them in non-A territory. Westminster was noted for incoming freshmen having a 3.5 high school grade point average with 62% of the incoming class ranking in the top 25% of their high school class. The average SAT score of incoming Westminster students was 1084, about 80 points higher than the average test taker.
"We are committed to providing a rigorous learning experience that provides our students with the intellectual, social, and career skills needed to excel upon graduation. Our goal is to have this occur within a traditional four-year program and it is consistently clear we are succeeding," said Westminster College President Dr. Richard Dorman. "This recognition is a testament to the great work being done on a daily basis by Westminster students, faculty, and staff."
The exclusive rankings, which include rankings of more than 1,400 schools nationwide, are available at www.usnews.com/colleges. This year 251 colleges were included in the National Liberal Arts Colleges category and these institutions emphasize undergraduate education and award at least 50 percent of their degrees in the arts and sciences.