U.S. News and World Report has again rated Union College as a top pick for new college students in the magazine's highly anticipated "Best Colleges" rankings. Tied with Defiance College in Ohio for 39th place among Midwestern regional colleges, this is the seventh consecutive year Union has earned the title of one of America's best colleges.
“Union College’s ranking affirms the quality of a Union College education,” said John Wagner, president. “While percentages and ratios can not account for the entirety of the college experience, we are always glad to be recognized for the quality of our students and the hard work of our faculty and staff. Their tireless dedication makes a Union College education a life-changing experience.”
The publication ranks regional universities and colleges on key indicators of success including academic reputation, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving. The editors gather data from the schools themselves, peer evaluations and the government.
“In the U.S. News assessment, our strengths lie in our student-teacher ratio, which is 10 to 1, and in giving among our recent alumni—nearly 30 percent,” said Wagner. “In their methodology, those are two of the criteria that most closely tie to student experiences. I think our performance in those areas reflects an emphasis on helping students grow rather than simply attracting those who would be successful anywhere.”
The magazine’s online college guide also reflected Union’s ethic diversity—greater than 40 percent. The 2013 U.S. News web rankings list Union College third in ethnic diversity among Midwest regional colleges even though the calculation excludes international students, who add even greater diversity to the campus.
The U.S. News rankings are created annually as a service to parents and prospective students in selecting colleges. This year, 370 baccalaureate colleges, divided into four regions, are included in the report. The baccalaureate college category includes colleges that offer a range of degree programs in professional fields such as business, nursing and education with liberal arts degrees accounting for fewer than half of the bachelor's degrees conferred.