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U.S. News again ranks Augustana among top liberal arts colleges

Augustana College continued its long-standing tradition of ranking in the top 100 for national liberal arts colleges and made big gains in the category of social mobility in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2023 rankings.

The rankings, released today, lists Augustana as 94th among national liberal arts colleges, in a tie with five other schools. This category includes institutions that almost exclusively focus on undergraduate education and award at least 50% of its degrees in the arts and sciences.

The college moved up 22 spots in “Top Performers on Social Mobility” — coming in 70th among national liberal arts colleges. This list is a distinction that recognizes how well schools graduated students who received Pell Grants. Pell Grant recipients are typically from families earning less than $50,000 annually. This school year, Augustana has 478 Pell Grant recipients in attendance.

Earlier this year, Georgetown University’s Center for Education and the Workforce ranked Augustana among the top 7% of 3,380 schools in the country for providing a high return on a college investment (ROI) to Pell Grant-eligible students.

The college again earned high marks for innovation from U.S. News — tying with 10 other national liberal arts schools for the 40th spot. Augustana is the only national liberal arts college in Illinois ranked in this category.

Dr. Wendy Hilton-Morrow
Dr. Wendy Hilton-Morrow

Dr. Wendy Hilton-Morrow, Augustana’s vice president of academic affairs, provost and dean, said these rankings reflect the core values and priorities of Augustana.

“Augustana never stands still,” Dr. Hilton-Morrow said. “Just as we push our students to grow and change for where the world is today and where it will be in the future, we do the same thing as an institution.

“We continually innovate in ways that sets us apart from schools in Illinois and in ways that allow us to support students regardless what means they may come to us with. It allows us to find ways to keep Augustana affordable.”

Augustana remains committed to providing access to a liberal arts education to students of all backgrounds. Beginning in the fall of 2023, high-achieving students from families with lower incomes can qualify for Augustana Possible, a financial aid program that meets 100% of demonstrated financial need for qualifying students.

Dr. Hilton-Morrow said Augustana Possible is among the many ways the college innovates to serve all students.

“Regardless of what socioeconomic backgrounds students come from, we help to lift them up,” she said. “We find ways to do it to keep it affordable for students.”

Augustana also ranked 33rd among national liberal arts colleges for most international students. Thirteen percent of the college’s 2,500 student body is international students. The college’s Class of 2026 is the most diverse class to enter the college, and students come from more than 22 states and 33 countries.

U.S. News and World Report also ranked Augustana as No. 55 for Undergrad Teaching and No. 63 Best Value.

U.S. News ranked 1,500 colleges and universities this year. The process included a review of data collected from schools in the spring and summer of 2022. The rankings, which today are based on 17 metrics of academic quality, first began in 1983. Ranking categories include national universities, national liberal arts colleges, regional colleges and regional universities.

To view the complete rankings, visit


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