Northwestern ranked eighth by U.S. News & World Report

Northwestern College is ranked eighth among Midwestern baccalaureate colleges in U.S. News & World Report’s 2008 America’s Best Colleges guidebook. Last year, Northwestern was tied for 20th in that category.

The U.S. News rankings are based on key measures of quality such as academic reputation; retention (freshman retention and six-year graduation rate); faculty resources (including class size, the percentage of faculty with the top academic degree, student-faculty ratio and faculty compensation); student selectivity; financial resources; and alumni giving.

“Northwestern has been fortunate to receive significant recognition for our academic program within the last year, including the naming of theatre professor Jeff Barker as the Iowa Professor of the Year—our second faculty member to receive that honor in three years—and the selection of 2006 alumnus Daniel Berntson to receive one of two prestigious American Graduate Fellowships for doctoral study at top-tier research universities,” says Dr. Bruce Murphy, president. “This high ranking is another indication of the quality of a Northwestern College education, and it reflects positively on the work of many people in all areas of the campus.”

The recent recognitions may have helped influence Northwestern’s high peer assessment score in the U.S. News rankings, as the college tied for sixth in its category with a 3.4 mark. Northwestern also fared well in the percentage of freshmen who were in the top quarter of their high school class, tied for eighth with 55 percent.

The America’s Best Colleges guidebook will be available at newsstands beginning Aug. 20. Information also is posted at