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U.S. News ranks Bethel among top colleges in country

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. - Look no farther than Bethel College for one of the top schools in the country. For the sixth consecutive year, U.S. News and World Report, the national news magazine that ranks colleges and universities each fall, has placed the North Newton college as a top school among the country’s best colleges. Bethel is the only Kansas college to receive a top tier listing in the 2004 rankings announced today. Bethel College is ranked 25th among colleges in the category Best Comprehensive Colleges-Bachelor’s (Midwest). The 324 comprehensive colleges in this bachelor’s degree category focus on undergraduate education and offer a range of degree programs in the liberal arts and in professional fields such as business, nursing and education. Universities are ranked separately.

The magazine bases its rankings on a variety of factors. The U.S. News ranking formula gives greatest weight (25 %) to the opinion of top academics, such as presidents and deans at other institutions, who are asked to rate their peer schools. Other key factors the magazine uses are freshmen retention rate, graduation rate, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving rate.

The weekly edition of U.S. News and World Report containing the college rankings and the newsstand book, "America’s Best Colleges," will hit newsstands on Monday, Aug. 25. The information is also available on the magazine’s Web site (www.usnews.com).

Founded in 1887 as a Mennonite coeducational liberal arts college, Bethel College in North Newton is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Fall classes for its 500 students begin Sept. 2.

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