The 2006 edition of America’s Best Colleges ranks Xavier No. 3 three among 142 Midwest colleges and universities. Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., another Catholic, Jesuit University, took the top spot. Valparaiso University in Indiana was rated No. 2, just one point ahead of Xavier.
“We are once again honored to find ourselves in the top five master’s schools in the Midwest,” says Xavier President Michael J. Graham, S.J. “It is the inherent nature of our Catholic, Jesuit tradition to strive for excellence in all areas of University life. I commend our faculty and staff who work on a daily basis to realize our mission of forming students intellectually, morally and spiritually with rigor and compassion toward lives of solidarity, service and success.”
The magazine ranks universities in six broad categories: retention, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, graduation rate performance and alumni giving rate. One hundred points was assigned to Creighton. Xavier earned 90 points, one point behind Valparaiso and four points above Bradley University.
In 2005, Xavier tied with Valparaiso for the No. 2 spot. In 2004, U.S. News ranked Xavier sixth best in the Midwest. The 2006 issue of America’s Best Colleges is on newsstands Monday, Aug. 22.
With an 89-percent freshmen retention rate, Xavier was No. 1 in that category for the third year in a row. In the category of "highest graduation rate,” Xavier ranked second with 75 percent. Among the top 10 schools, Xavier ranked first in alumni giving with 30 percent of alums giving back to the University. Overall, alumni from only two schools among the 142 Midwest schools reviewed, had a higher giving rate.
Xavier also ranked high in the U.S. News analysis of “Great schools, great prices,” which looks at a school’s value based on academic quality and the cost to attend. Xavier ranked 13th in the Midwest in that category.
In all, 572 colleges and universities are ranked in the “Master’s” category by region. These institutions provide a full range of undergraduate and master’s programs, but few doctoral programs. The universities that ranked in the four Master’s categories include 19 of the 28 Jesuit universities. Twelve of them, including Xavier, ranked in the top 10.
Xavier has placed in the top 10 Midwest universities every year since the 1996 issue. A detailed report on scores may be found at the U.S. News and World Report web site at www.usnews.com.