NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – With the annual U.S. News & World Report rankings of the nation’s best colleges and universities now out, Bethel College is in the top 25 Best Regional Colleges-Midwest.
At No. 25, Bethel is the highest-ranking of its 10 peer Kansas private colleges and the second-highest Kansas private college listed overall in the Midwest region.
Sister institution Bluffton (Ohio) University appears at No. 28. Seven other Kansas private schools (Benedictine College, Atchison; Tabor College, Hillsboro; McPherson College; Kansas Wesleyan University, Salina; Ottawa University; Sterling College; and Bethany College, Lindsborg) also appear on that list.
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.
The “Regional Colleges” categories refers to those institutions that focus on undergraduate education but grant fewer than half their degrees in liberal arts disciplines. The “Midwest Region” covers 11 states in addition to Kansas: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
You can access the complete rankings at colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges or and on newsstands starting Sept. 23. The rankings for “Best Regional Colleges-Midwest” are at colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/rankings/regional-colleges-midwest.
Bethel is also listed in the Washington Monthly annual college guide and on Forbes.com.
In its fourth year on the Washington Monthly list, Bethel stayed at No. 3 among “Best Baccalaureate Colleges 2014-15.”
The Washington Monthly rankings measure institutions based on three criteria: service, research and social mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students).
See the complete “2014-15 Baccalaureate Colleges” list at www.washingtonmonthly.com/college_guide/rankings-2014/baccalaureate-colleges-rank.php.
For the seventh 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.”
The rankings are based on five general categories: student satisfaction, which includes professor evaluations and freshman-to-sophomore year retention rates; post-graduate success, which evaluates alumni pay and prominence; debt, which penalizes schools for high student debt loads and default rates; four-year graduation rate; and nationally 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.
To see the names of all 650 colleges and universities, go to www.forbes.com/top-colleges/.
Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see the Bethel Web site at www.bethelks.edu.