Xavier moves up to second place in U.S. News & World Report rankings

University earns top 10 ranking for Midwest master’s-level universities for 12th straight year | August 18, 2006

Superior freshman-sophomore retention and graduation rates, plus exceptional alumni giving, combined to move Xavier back to second place in the annual college rankings by U.S. News & World Report for 2007.

Xavier had ranked second for 2005 but moved to third last year.

America’s Best Colleges, released today, Friday, Aug. 18, lists Xavier second best among 142 institutions offering undergraduate and master’s degree programs in the Midwest. Only Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., another of the 28 Jesuit universities and colleges in the country, placed ahead of Xavier.

“I could not be more proud of this honor,” said Michael Graham, S.J., president of Xavier University since 2001. “I commend our faculty and staff who work so hard to realize our mission of forming students intellectually, morally and spiritually with rigor and compassion toward lives of solidarity, service and success. This recognition by U.S. News & World Report reinforces that we are doing our best on behalf of our students.”

Other Jesuit universities included among the top 25 in the Midwest are fifth-ranked John Carroll University, near Cleveland, Rockhurst University in Kansas City at 14th place and the University of Detroit Mercy at 22nd.

Xavier also is included in the list of schools offering the best value, which is calculated by comparing the net cost of attendance with the average level of need-based financial aid. Xavier placed ninth among 15 for Midwest master’s-level universities, with 52 percent of students receiving grants based on need and an average discount rate of 31 percent from the total cost of attendance. The average cost for a Xavier student after receiving need-based aid is $22,318, according to the report.

The rankings by U.S. News & World Report are released annually and are closely watched by university officials as a barometer of their institution’s success. The magazine ranks colleges and universities in 11 broad categories including freshman retention, graduation rate, class size, student/faculty ratio, student scores, student acceptance rate and alumni giving rate.

Creighton was awarded 100 points for finishing first. Xavier earned 91 points, three points ahead of Valparaiso and seven points ahead of Drake University. John Carroll tied with Butler University with 83 points. In 2006, Xavier was ranked number three, one point behind Valparaiso. In 2005, Xavier tied with Valparaiso University in Indiana for the number two spot.

Xavier’s 90 percent freshman retention rate and its 76 percent graduation rate led the field of all Midwest master’s-level schools, while the alumni giving rate of 29 percent was highest among the top 10 finishers. Xavier has ranked first in freshman retention in the Midwest for four years in a row. Its first place graduation rate was closely followed by John Carroll’s rate of 75 percent.

Overall, alumni from only two schools among the 142 Midwest schools reviewed had a higher rate of giving.

In all, 557 colleges and universities are ranked in the master’s-level category in four separate regions of the country. 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 for their regions.

The full report may be found at the U.S. News & World Report website at www.usnews.com.