NWC ranked fourth by U.S. News & World Report

Northwestern College is ranked in a tie for fourth among Midwestern baccalaureate colleges in U.S. News & World Report’s 2009 America’s Best Colleges guidebook. Last year, Northwestern was eighth in that category.

Northwestern is the highest-ranking Iowa college in its category. It is ranked ahead of Dordt (6), Buena Vista (12), Loras (13), Mt. Mercy (24), Morningside (26), Briar Cliff (30), and five other Iowa schools among the 92 institutions in the Midwestern baccalaureate college category.

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

“We’re humbled and honored anytime we have external bodies recognize the quality of our education,” says Greg Christy, Northwestern’s president. “This U.S. News ranking is a real affirmation of the academic excellence we offer, primarily due to a top-notch faculty who provide our students with a complementary integration of faith and learning in the classroom. To have jumped up four spots in the rankings this year speaks well for the work of all of our people to invest deeply in the lives of students.”

Northwestern, which has had two faculty members named Iowa Professor of the Year since 2004, scored high in the U.S. News ranking’s peer assessment, tying for fifth in its category. Northwestern also tied for fifth in the percentage of freshmen who were in the top quarter of their high school class, with 56 percent.

Additionally, the 2009 U.S. News rankings include Northwestern on a list of top schools with students representing the greatest economic diversity.

The America’s Best Colleges guidebook will be available at newsstands beginning Aug. 26.