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Augustana continues in top-tier college rankings

Augustana College continues to be among national top-tier liberal arts colleges as ranked by U.S. News. New rankings of undergraduate education were released last week.

U.S. News & World Report assessed 1,452 U.S. bachelor's degree-granting institutions on 17 measures of academic quality.

Augustana ranked 96th among national liberal arts colleges. These are colleges which emphasize undergraduate education and award at least half of their degrees in the liberal arts fields of study.

"Such a ranking reinforces the value of Augustana in the minds of so many stakeholders and we are proud of the ranking. But, we are overjoyed that these rankings also recognize our values," said W. Kent Barnds, executive vice president of external relations.

Augustana also is listed as a Best College in five different U.S. News subcategories:

#43 in Best Undergraduate Teaching: The schools on this list received the most votes from top college administrators for putting a particular focus on undergraduate teaching

#66 in Best Value Schools: The ranking uses the school's academic quality and the 2019-2020 net cost of attendance for a student who received the average level of need-based financial aid. Only schools ranked in or near the top half of their categories are included.

"Our ranking as a best value showcases the return on investment students receive in a learning environment that pairs talented and passionate faculty mentors with curious, serious and energetic students," Barnds said.

#42 in Most Innovative Schools: These schools received the most nominations for making promising changes on campus in curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology or facilities.

Barnds said U.S. News recognition for innovation and creativity reflects efforts by faculty and administrators to  strengthen and improve student learning outcomes and the student experience. 

Augustana was the only Illinois college to be ranked in this category.

#94 in Top Performers on Social Mobility: These colleges are more successful than others at advancing social mobility by enrolling and graduating large proportions of disadvantaged students awarded with Pell Grants. 

#36 in First-Year Experiences: These schools build first-year seminars or other programs into the curriculum that bring small groups of students together with faculty or staff on a regular basis.

"This ranking reinforces our efforts to successfully prepare students for the rigors of a liberal arts education," Barnds said, "while making sure the important tasks of friend- and sense-making are happening systematically."  

Augustana was the top-ranked Illinois college in this category.

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