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Research letter shows Bethel graduation rates rank high nationally

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Bethel College’s high ranking in the U.S. News & World Report annual “Best Colleges” issue has earned it another national accolade.

The April 2011 issue of Postsecondary Education Opportunity, a research letter that serves U.S. public policy makers in the field of education, ranks Bethel in the top 12 nationally of liberal arts colleges whose actual graduation rates surpass predictions.

In fact, Bethel is the only Kansas college to rank that high.

Using data supplied by the U.S. News publication “Best Colleges, 2011 Edition,” Postsecondary Education Opportunity looked at the graduation rates that the U.S. News formula predicted and at actual graduation rates for “Tier 1” institutions – 197 national universities and 189 national liberal arts colleges, which include Bethel.

The analysis shows that Bethel’s graduation rate is 11 percent higher than the U.S. News prediction.

“Institutional graduation rates are an important measure of how well colleges and universities serve the students they enroll,” states the Postsecondary Education Opportunity article.

“In the present economic climate, when the efficiency and even the value of higher education have come under some question, this data again reinforces the kind of quality opportunity Bethel College offers to today’s undergraduate student,” said Perry D. White, Bethel College president.

“Not only do we engage students as individuals while on our campus, we are now recognized as one of the top liberal arts institutions in the country when it comes to helping them persist to graduation,” he continued. “Such recognition is a tribute to the tremendous faculty and staff who give so freely of themselves to help our students succeed, and confirmation of the extraordinary skill set our students develop while pursuing their Bethel education.”

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2010-11 analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States and is in the first tier in its category in the U.S. News & World Report annual ranking of “America’s Top Colleges” for 2011. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

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