Tag: best liberal arts college

Lawrence on U.S. News’ Best Colleges list; earns high marks for value

Lawrence University (Photo by Danny Damiani)

Story by Ed Berthiaume / Communications

Lawrence University is ranked among the top colleges in the nation in a report released Monday by U.S. News & World Report.

The annual rankings place Lawrence as the No. 36 Best Value among national liberal arts colleges and the No. 63 liberal arts college overall. The Best Value ranking comes as Lawrence’s Full Speed to Full Need (FSFN) financial aid initiative has pushed past its initial $85 million fund-raising goal.

“We appreciate that U.S. News has recognized Lawrence University as a Best Value college,” said Ken Anselment, vice president for enrollment and communication. “Thanks to the generosity of the Lawrence community all over the world, we have been able to build a financial aid endowment to ensure that lower- and middle-income families can afford a top-notch college experience like the one we offer.”

To be considered for U.S. News’ Best Value Schools listing, a school first had to be ranked among the Best Colleges in the nation. Those qualifying schools were then examined on the basis of net cost of attendance and available need-based financial aid.

“By design, the Best Value Schools rankings place significant emphasis on affordability for students who may be eligible for need-based aid,” U.S. News & World Report said in its release of the rankings. “The 2021 edition introduced a new ranking indicator, contributing 20% toward a college or university’s Best Value Schools rank, which incorporates the proportion of need-based aid in the form of grants and scholarships.”

Lawrence’s Full Speed to Full Need fund, part of the $220 million Be the Light! Campaign, is a key effort to make sure the University is accessible to academically qualifying students of all socioeconomic backgrounds. The FSFN fund surpassed the $85 million mark earlier this year, drawn from more than 1,200 donors.

The University is working to reach full-need status, meaning it will have the resources to cover 100% of every student’s demonstrated need after other financial aid packages are factored in. Launched in 2014, the ambitious effort would make Lawrence one of fewer than 70 universities nationwide designated as full-need institutions.

The average debt of Lawrence’s graduating seniors has declined by $5,000 since the campaign began even as the University’s comprehensive fee has increased. This lower average debt at graduation is in contrast to rising debt numbers nationally.

“The way in which this community has rallied around that strategic priority to provide more financial resources for students has been breathtaking in terms of the number of donors, the amounts of gifts, the pace in which we’ve been raising money,” Cal Husmann, vice president for alumni and development, said at the time the goal was reached. “It has resonated with this constituency unlike any other philanthropic priority.”

The U.S. News rankings follow an announcement in August that the Princeton Review has named Lawrence to its Best 386 Colleges for 2021 list, which included placing Lawrence at No. 3 on its Best Impact Schools list.

Ed Berthiaume is director of public information at Lawrence University. Email: ed.c.berthiaume@lawrence.edu

Class of 2011 Senior Speaker Sarah Ehlinger (listen to her remarks)

Senior speaker Sarah Ehlinger

Sarah Ehlinger, the Class of 2011’s senior speaker, praised the “Lawrence bubble” during her remarks at Lawrence University’s 162nd Commencement Ceremony Sunday, June 5, 2011.

Click on the arrow to hear her speech.

Senator Feingold Addresses Lawrence Grads (listen to his remarks)

Former U.S. Senator Russell Feingold encouraged Lawrence University’s Class of 2011 to become “citizen diplomats” as they begin the next phase of their lives.  Feingold was the university’s commencement speaker June 5, 2011. He told graduates, families and university dignitaries that they are the keys to creating a positive image of Americans when they are traveling the world as students, on business or on vacation. (click on the arrow to hear the remarks.)

Video of the commencement ceremony will be available later this month.

Forbes.com Report Ranks Lawrence University 50th in 2010 “America’s Best Colleges” Report

Using the quality of the education a college provides, the experiences of its students and how much those students achieve as its measuring stick, Forbes.com has named Lawrence University the best undergraduate institution in Wisconsin and 50th nationally among more than 600 undergraduate institutions in its third annual “America’s Best Colleges” report.

Lawrence was the only state institutions to crack the business publication’s top 100. Beloit College was ranked 125th, St. Norbert College 152nd, Carroll University 184th, and Ripon College 195th.

In addition to finishing top-ranked among 11 Wisconsin institutions included in Forbes.com’s list, Lawrence also was ranked higher than such traditional educational heavyweights as Georgetown University (52), the University of California-Berkeley (65) and Ivy League member Cornell University (70).

Liberal arts colleges like Lawrence accounted for six of the top 15 ranked institutions nationally while many of the large state universities landed well down Forbes’ list, including Penn. State University (192), UW-Madison (212), and the University of Minnesota (418).

Launched in 2008 as an alternative to the annual rankings done by U.S. News & World Report, Forbes’ rankings focus largely on student-related concerns: Do the students enjoy their classes and overall academic experience? Will courses be interesting and rewarding? How likely is the student to graduate in four years? Will the student get a good job after graduation? How much debt will the student incur in pursuit of a degree?

“We’re happy that Forbes takes a student-centered approach to its assessments,” said Ken Anselment, Lawrence’s director of admissions. “And we continue to be gratified that Forbes recognizes the high-quality experience we provide our students, as well as the lifetime of rewards they reap from that experience as alumni.”

Compiled with the assistance of researchers at the Washington, D.C.-based non-profit think tank Center for College Affordability and Productivity, the magazine’s 2010 “America’s Best Colleges” report ranks 610 undergraduate institutions from among the 6,600 accredited post-secondary institutions in the United States.

More than 10 factors are used in objectively determining the rankings, with no single factor accounting as much as 20 percent. The only subjective judgments are those of Forbes and the Center for College Affordability and Productivity as to which factors to include and the weights to be used in evaluating each factor.

Data in the rankings were drawn from numerous sources, including the opinions of student evaluations of courses and instructors recorded on the Web site RateMyProfessors.com and post-graduate success determined by enrollment-adjusted entries in “Who’s Who in America” and average salaries of graduates reported by Payscale.com.

Other ranking factors included an estimated average student debt after four years, four-year college graduation rates, and the number of students and faculty, adjusted for enrollment, who have won nationally competitive awards such as Rhodes Scholarships and Nobel Prizes.

Williams College earned Forbes.com’s no. 1 ranking, supplanting last year’s top-ranked institution, the U. S. Military Academy at West Point, which was ranked fourth this year. Princeton University (2), Amherst College (3) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (5) completed the top five.