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Sarah Unruh ’12

Bethel is A-Plus School in annual national ranking

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – For the second year in a row, Bethel College made the U.S. News & World Report list of “A-Plus Schools for B Students.”

The list is part of the magazine’s annual ranking of "Best Colleges/Universities in the United States."

Also for the second year, Bethel is in the Top 20 “Best Regional Colleges-Midwest” at No. 19.

Bethel is the highest-ranking Kansas college in the Midwest region. Sister institution Bluffton (Ohio) University appears at No. 25. Six other Kansas private schools (Benedictine College, Atchison; McPherson College; Tabor College, Hillsboro; Kansas Wesleyan University, Salina; Sterling College; and Bethany College, Lindsborg) also appear on that list.

 “A-Plus Schools for B Students” are what U.S. News & World Report calls “those where non-superstars have a decent shot at being accepted and thriving, where spirit and hard work could make all the difference in admissions offices.”

U.S. News compared more than 1,600 accredited four-year schools nationwide using a set of up to 16 indicators, with key measures being: peer assessment; graduation and retention rates; faculty resources; student selectivity; financial resources; and alumni giving.

You can access the complete rankings at colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges or and on newsstands starting Sept. 24. The rankings for “Best Regional Colleges-Midwest” are at colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/rankings/regional-colleges-midwest (note that Bethel shares its #19 ranking with Adrian [Mich.] College and with Bethel College of Mishawaka, Ind.).

Bethel is also listed in the Washington Monthly annual college guide and on Forbes.com.

In its third year on the Washington Monthly list, Bethel moved up one notch, sitting at No. 3 among “Best Baccalaureate Colleges 2013-14.”

Washington Monthly rankings are based on “contribution to the public good” in three broad categories: social mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students); research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and PhDs); and service (encouraging students to give something back to their community and country).

See the complete “2013-14 Baccalaureate Colleges” list at www.washingtonmonthly.com/college_guide/rankings_2013/baccalaureate_rank.php.

For the sixth straight year, Bethel is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas and one of only four institutions of higher learning in the state to be ranked in Forbes.com’s analysis of top U.S. colleges and universities.

The annual ranking, compiled by Forbes.com and the Center for College Affordability and Productivity (CCAP), rates 650 undergraduate programs out of 6,600 accredited U.S. colleges “based on the quality of the education they provide, the experience of the students and how much they achieve.”

Bethel ranked No. 395 among private U.S. colleges and No. 163 on the Midwest colleges list.

Forbes.com rankings are based on five general categories: post-graduate success, which evaluates alumni pay and prominence; student satisfaction, which includes professor evaluations and freshman-to-sophomore year retention rates; debt, which penalizes schools for high student debt loads and default rates; four-year graduation rate; and competitive awards, which rewards schools whose students win prestigious scholarships and fellowships such as Rhodes, Fulbright or National Science Foundation, or go on to earn a Ph.D.

Complete rankings for Forbes.com are at www.forbes.com/top-colleges/.

Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see www.bethelks.edu.