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Bethel takes high positions in national rankings

September 14th, 2020

Ad Building and pole sign, August 2020

Bethel stayed in the Top 15, the highest at #14 of any Kansas college or university, in the Washington Monthly annual list “Best Bachelor’s Colleges.”  

Washington Monthly rankings measure four-year institutions based on contribution to the public good in three broad categories: social mobility, research and service.

“[The] new rankings are especially important now,” write the editors of Washington Monthly’s annual college issue, “with mass unemployment, the inequalities exposed by COVID-19, and the nationwide protests against racial injustice.”

“Bachelor’s Colleges” are those that award almost exclusively bachelor’s degrees. Bethel was #14 out of 250 schools ranked.

See the complete list at

Bethel also earned accolades from the annual “Best Colleges” issue published by U.S. News & World Report.

In the list of “Best Regional Colleges Midwest,” Bethel lands at #26 among schools that award mostly bachelor’s degrees and are located in the 11-state region that covers Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Bethel also shows up on some more specialized lists within that regional ranking.

It appears at #11 for “Best Undergraduate Teaching,” #31 among “Best Value Schools” and #38 for “Top Performers in Social Mobility.”

“Best Undergraduate Teaching” recognizes institutions with a strong commitment to teaching undergraduates over conducting graduate-level research.

In a survey conducted in spring and summer 2020, the schools on this list received the most votes from top college administrators for putting a particular focus on undergraduate teaching.

“Best Value Schools” is based on a calculation that considers academic quality plus the 2019-20 net cost of attendance for a student who received the average level of need-based financial aid. The higher the quality of the program and the lower the cost, the better the deal.

Only schools ranked in or near the top half of their categories are included, because U.S. News considers the most significant values to be colleges that are above average academically.

“Top Performers in Social Mobility” puts Bethel among those schools U.S. News considers “more successful than others at advancing social mobility by enrolling and graduating large proportions of [economically] disadvantaged students awarded with Pell Grants.”

In addition to academic reputation, faculty resources, financial resources and social mobility, the U.S. News rankings also take into account graduation and retention rates, student selectivity for the entering class (high school class standing, for example), alumni giving and graduate indebtedness.

You can explore the rankings in more detail by going to

Bethel is a four-year liberal arts college founded in 1887 and is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Known for academic excellence, Bethel ranks at #14 in the Washington Monthly list of “Best Bachelor’s Colleges” and #26 in U.S. News & World Report, Best Regional Colleges Midwest, and earned its third-straight NAIA Champions of Character Five-Star Gold Award, based on student service and academic achievement, all for 2020-21; is’s highest ranked Kansas small college with the highest earning graduates; has the #10 RN-to-BSN program in Kansas according to; and is #57 among 829 U.S. colleges and universities named by as “Best for Financial Aid,” as well as #23 “Safest College Towns in the U.S.,” ranked by for 2020-21. For more information, see

About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.