Tag: College Rankings

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

Lawrence named one of nation’s “Best” colleges for 2021 by Princeton Review

Main Hall on the Lawrence University campus. (Photo by Danny Damiani)

Story by Ed Berthiaume / Communications

Lawrence University has again made the list of The Princeton Review’s best colleges.

The listing in The Best 386 Colleges for 2021, a guide produced by the education services company, comes six months after The Princeton Review named Lawrence the No. 3 Best Impact School in the country.

Only about 13% of the nearly 2,800 eligible four-year colleges make the Best book each year. Published each August and focused on undergraduate education, it has been an annual resource for prospective students since its debut in 1992. The book, released on Tuesday, does not rank the schools within the list of 386, but it does include a series of Top 20 lists in a variety of sub categories.

“As we head into another academic year, albeit one that looks different from any other in history, it’s reassuring to see that some things have remained the same,” said Ken Anselment, vice president for enrollment and communication. “Lawrence being recognized as one of The Princeton Review’s best colleges is one of them.”

See more on Lawrence admissions here.

Information on the application process here.

The Best Impact Schools listing is included in the new guide. It is based on both the student experience on campus and how alumni perceive their careers. It speaks to Lawrence’s liberal arts vision and that students are being prepared well for life after Lawrence.

The Princeton Review chooses the colleges for the Best book based on data it annually collects from administrators at hundreds of colleges about their institutions’ academic offerings. The Princeton Review also considers data it gathers from its surveys of college students who rate and report on various aspects of their campus and community experiences.  

Lawrence was cited for its small student-to-faculty ratio, its creative and well-rounded Freshman Studies program, its pro-active approach to mental health, and a “creative and explorative” campus environment.

“We salute Lawrence University for its outstanding academics and we are truly pleased to recommend it to prospective applicants searching for their personal ‘best-fit’ college,” said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s editor-in-chief and lead author of The Best 386 Colleges.  

The Princeton Review’s school profiles and ranking lists in The Best 386 Colleges are posted at www.princetonreview.com/best386 where they can be searched for free with site registration.

The Best 386 Colleges is the 29th annual edition of The Princeton Review’s best colleges book.

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

Academic quality, access to financial aid put Lawrence on ‘Best Value’ list

Story by Ed Berthiaume / Communications

Lawrence University is ranked among the Best Value Schools in the country in a report released Monday by U.S. News & World Report.

Citing a combination of academic quality and the availability of need-based financial aid, the annual Best Value Schools rankings placed Lawrence at No. 37 among national liberal arts colleges.

Lawrence also placed in a tie at No. 58 for Best Liberal Arts Colleges and No. 60 for Best Undergraduate Teaching.

“Our focus at Lawrence has always been on providing an educational experience that doesn’t just push students, but lifts them,” said Ken Anselment, vice president for enrollment and communication. “And that means investing in the quality of our academic and co-curricular offerings as well as student financial aid.

“Being rated a Best Value is a welcome by-product of our focus on these priorities at Lawrence.”

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

“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 among colleges that are above average academically,” the U.S. News report stated. 

Lawrence’s Full Speed to Full Need (FSFN) fund, part of the overarching $220 million Be the Light! Campaign, is a key effort in the university’s commitment to make sure the doors are open to students of all socioeconomic backgrounds. The FSFN fund, which has surpassed $82 million to date, has already delivered direct financial aid assistance to 250 students, and another 100 incoming students are expected to benefit in the 2019-20 academic year.

The U.S. News rankings come on the heels of similar plaudits from The Princeton Review, which last month ranked Lawrence as the No. 4 Impact School in the country, included LU on its list of the best 385 colleges and hailed it as one of the 200 Best Value Schools.

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

Lawrence ranks among ‘Best Value Schools’ in the country, places 4th on Impact Schools list

Lawrence University has been recognized as one of the “Best Value Schools” in the country by The Princeton Review, ranking No. 4 in the category of best schools for making an impact.

Photo of the cover of the book, "The Best Value Colleges"
Lawrence University is included in the newly released book from The Princeton Review, “The Best Value Colleges.”

Lawrence is one of 200 schools selected for inclusion in the 2019 edition of the newly released book, The Best Value Colleges: 200 Schools with Exceptional ROI for Your Tuition Investment.

ROI references Return on Investment.

Within the book, Lawrence is ranked No. 4 in the category of Impact Schools, a category driven by student ratings of their experiences on campus, including student engagement, service, government and sustainability, and by the percentage of alumni who report that their jobs have “high meaning.”

In The Best Value Colleges – an annual release that was previously titled Colleges That Pay You Back – “we recommend the colleges we consider the nation’s best for academics, affordability, and career prospects,” according to the book’s editors at The Princeton Review.

The 200 schools that were selected were not ranked in any particular order. But within the book, Top 25 rankings were done in several categories, including Impact Schools.

The book lauds Lawrence for its academic strategies, including the Freshman Studies program, its “significant financial aid and scholarship opportunities,” its social activities that have “an altruistic bent” and its effective career services outreach to graduating students.

The ranking is one more reminder that the value of a Lawrence education continues to resonate long after graduation day.

“Lawrence has been transforming students’ lives for generations,” said Ken Anselment, Vice President for Enrollment and Communication. “So we are thrilled that the Princeton Review, which started measuring this phenomenon a few years ago, has once again rated the experience of our alumni so highly.”

The book highlights Lawrence’s commitment to financial aid and scholarships.

Lawrence has garnered national attention for its “Full Speed to Full Need” campaign designed to help bridge the financial gap for students who show a demonstrated need. The campaign has raised more than $74 million since 2014 and Lawrence is on its way to becoming one of only about 70 universities nationwide to be designated as full-need institutions.

Bolstered by a $30 million matching gift to kick off the campaign, the school has made a bold commitment to “make Lawrence accessible and affordable by meeting the full demonstrated financial need of every student.”

The Impact School ranking, meanwhile, speaks to the experience on campus and beyond.

“When families are considering the return on their investment in a college,” Anselment said, “we like to talk about this particular ranking because it highlights that Lawrentians feel that their careers and lives have meaning and that they are truly making a difference in the world.

“What better outcome could you ask for from a college experience?”

U.S. News 2016 college rankings: Lawrence cited for academic quality, teaching excellence and overall value

Overall academic excellence, exceptional value and terrific teachers earned Lawrence University recognition in U.S. News & World Report’s 2016 “America’s Best Colleges” just-released (9/9) report.

U.S.-News-Rankings_newsblogLawrence remained Wisconsin’s highest-ranked liberal arts college at 57th among 235 national liberal arts colleges and universities in the magazine’s 29th annual guide.

Lawrence also was named to U.S. News’ Great Schools/Great Prices list, one of only 40 national liberal arts colleges cited as a great value based on an institution’s academic quality and the 2014-2015 net cost of attendance for a student who received the average level of need-based financial aid.

A hallmark of Lawrence — excellent teaching — was recognized on U.S. News’ list of institutions with the best undergraduate teaching. Lawrence tied for 12th on a list of 34 national liberal arts colleges based on a peer assessment survey in which college presidents, provosts and admission deans were asked to identify schools where the faculty has an unusually strong commitment to undergraduate teaching.U.S.-News-Rankings_newsblog_2

The guide’s list of best colleges for veterans included Lawrence as well — 42nd among 56 national liberal arts colleges that made the list. To be included on the best colleges for veterans list, a school must be certified for the GI Bill and participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program, the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

“Rankings get a lot of attention,” said Ken Anselment, dean of admissions and financial aid, “but for us, the attention is really on strengthening an environment where every Lawrentian can thrive and succeed. Positive rankings like the ones by U.S. News are nice by-products of the excellent work our faculty, staff and students are doing every day.”

U.S. News’ annual rankings of nearly 1,400 of the nation’s public and private four-year schools are based on data from up to 16 separate factors, each of which is assigned a “weight” that reflects the magazine editor’s judgment as to how much that measure matters. Each school’s composite weighted score is then compared to peer institutions to determine final rankings.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College” and Fiske’s Guide to Colleges 2016. Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Lawrence featured in 2016 edition of Fiske Guide to Colleges

Cited for its “outstanding liberal arts curriculum, knowledgeable and caring faculty, an administration that treats students like adults and charming setting,” Lawrence University once again has earned a spot in former New York Times education editor Edward Fiske’s annual guide of the top colleges and universities in the United States, Canada and Great Britain.Fiske-Guide_#3_newsblog

Since 1985, the annual “Fiske Guide to Colleges” has offered a selective, subjective and systematic look at approximately 300 of the “best and most interesting” schools as a resource for college-bound students, their parents and high school guidance counselors. Institutions featured in the guide are profiled on everything from academics, social life and financial aid to the campus setting, housing and extracurricular activities.

In his 2016 guide, Fiske, who spent 17 years as education editor of the New York Times, calls Lawrence “unpretentious” and describes its academic climate as “intimate and intense” and the social life as “varied and eclectic.” With its renowned conservatory of music, Fiske says Lawrence appeals “to both the left and right side of students’ brains.”

Fiske launched his guide as a tool to broaden students’ horizons about American higher education and help them select a college that best coincides with their particular needs, goals, interests, talents and personalities.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Lawrence Cited Among Nation’s Best Values by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Lawrence University has been named one of the country’s best values among private colleges by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance in its 2014 annual list of the top 100 private universities and top 100 liberal arts colleges from among the nation’s more than 2,100 four-year, not-for-profit, public and private colleges.

Best Values NewsblogLawrence, ranked 96th, and the other schools selected for the 2014 list, represent the colleges that provide high-quality academics at a reasonable cost. Kiplinger’s draws its list from colleges that exemplify the attributes parents and students look for in higher education, including small class sizes, a good freshman retention rate and a high four-year graduation rate.

“It may seem counterintuitive to have so many private colleges—which generally look quite expensive—listed as ‘values,’” said Ken Anselment, Lawrence’s dean of admissions and financial aid, “but Kiplinger’s has hit the right notes in their assessment by shining a light on the return on the investment. It’s a subtle, but important shift in perspective.”

In compiling its rankings, Kiplinger’s measure academic quality and affordability. Academic criteria include the student admission rate, the test scores of incoming freshmen, student-faculty ratio, and the four- and five-year graduation rates. On the cost side, Kiplinger’s measures the sticker price, the availability and average amount of need-based and merit-based financial aid, and the average student debt at graduation.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Lawrence Ranked 59th Nationally in U.S. News’ 2014 America’s Best College Guide

Lawrence University was ranked 59th nationally among 240 national liberal arts colleges and universities in U.S. News & World Report’s 2014 “America’s Best Colleges” report released today (9/10).U.S. News Best Colleges Guide_newsblog

No Wisconsin college was ranked higher than Lawrence among eight Wisconsin institutions in the national liberal arts category.

“Rankings are but one way colleges can be compared. We’re focusing our efforts on making Lawrence the best liberal arts experience possible,” said President Mark Burstein. “The strength of our liberal arts and conservatory education will be enjoyed by one of our most diverse classes ever.”

Geographically, nearly 50 percent of this year’s new students hail from states beyond Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota, including 12 percent who are from outside the United States, the largest percentage of freshmen international students since at least 2000. Additionally, 19 percent of this year’s freshmen are domestic students of color.

Lawrence’s commitment to close faculty-student interaction and small classes was reflected in its high rate of classes with 20 students or fewer (78 percent). Lawrence was one of only 30 schools among the 240 in the category with that high of a percentage.

For more information on the criteria used in their evaluation of nearly 1,400 of the nation’s public and private four-year colleges, visit U.S. News.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.

 

Lawrence University Ranked 56th Nationally in U.S. News’ Annual “America’s Best Colleges” Guide

Lawrence University retained its standing as the top-ranked liberal arts college in Wisconsin in U.S. News & World Report’s 2013 “America’s Best Colleges” report.

Lawrence was ranked 56th nationally — up from 60th last year — among 239 national liberal arts colleges and universities.  Lawrence was the highest ranked college among eight Wisconsin institutions in the category.  Lawrence also was Wisconsin’s top-ranked college by Forbes in its college guide released last month.

U.S. News’ annual rankings are based on a combination of subjective information such as academic reputation (22.5%) and quantitative measures that education experts have proposed as reliable indicators of academic quality, including graduation and retention rates (20%), faculty resources (20%) student selectivity (15%) and alumni giving rates (5%), among others.

Lawrence showed improvement in several of the categories used in the ranking methodology including number of incoming students ranked in the top 10 percent of their high school class (46%), freshman retention rate (89%), graduation rate (77%), and acceptance rate (53%). Lawrence’s commitment to individualized learning and small classes was reflected in its high rate of classes with 20 students or fewer (75%), one of only 30 schools among the 239 in the category with that high of a percentage.

“It’s nice to be recognized by this ranking, especially for our individualized learning,” said Ken Anselment, dean of admissions and financial aid at Lawrence. “It would be even nicer if the magazine counted all of the one-on-one courses we do at Lawrence, of which there are many. It’s an essential point of distinction for us, but unfortunately, U.S. News only counts classes with enrollments of at least two.”

While the national recognition is appreciated, Anselment says families should consider all college guides as but one tool in their college selection process.

“College rankings value different things according to their own system. The best way to discover if a college matches with your values is to experience it yourself by engaging with it as much as possible before deciding to enroll.

“Regardless of how each service assembles its rankings,” he added, “Lawrence will continue doing what it does best: providing a transformative learning experience that educates students as unique individuals.”

In compiling its 2013 “America’s Best Colleges” guide, U.S. News & World Report evaluated nearly 1,500 of the nation’s public and private four-year schools, using data from up to 16 separate factors, each of which is assigned a “weight” that reflects the magazine editor’s judgment as to how much that measure matters.  Each school’s composite weighted score is then compared to peer institutions to determine final rankings.

Institutions are divided into several distinct categories. In addition to the best liberal arts college category that measures national institutions like Lawrence, other rankings are based on universities that grant master and doctorate degrees and colleges that are considered “regional” institutions.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2013 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,450 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.

Lawrence University Tops Wisconsin Colleges in Annual Forbes Rankings

For the fifth consecutive year, Lawrence University was ranked first among 13 Wisconsin colleges included on Forbes’ annual ranking of “America’s Top Colleges.

The 2013 Forbes report, prepared by the Washington, D.C.-based Center for College Affordability and Productivity, lists Lawrence 85th among 650 of the nation’s leading undergraduate colleges, 75th among private colleges and 16th among Midwestern colleges.

The rankings are based on five categories: post graduate career success, student satisfaction and retention rate, student debt, four-year graduation rates and competitive awards, such as Rhodes, Fulbright and Watson scholarships.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2013 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,450 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.