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Wilson College Earns Top Ratings in Annual U.S. News College Rankings

Posted: September 13, 2011

CONTACT: Debra Collins, Director of Communications


Wilson Named Fifth Best Value College in Its Category

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. – Wilson College is a leader among colleges offering a high-quality education at a reasonable price, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2012 “America’s Best Colleges” issue, which names Wilson the fifth best value college in its category. Highlights of the rankings will be printed on the magazine’s website and in its 2012 Best College guidebook, which will be available on newsstands on Sept. 20.

Wilson ranked 11th overall in the category of best regional colleges focused on undergraduate education in the northern region, up from a ranking of 15th in the category last year. It is the ninth consecutive year that Wilson has been recognized in the rankings. U.S. News examined a total of 74 colleges in the northern region to determine Wilson’s placement.

For the 11th straight year, Wilson has been honored as a best value college in the North and is named fifth in the category for regional colleges in the North. The category considers a school’s academic quality and the net cost of attendance for a student who receives the average level of need-based financial aid. The higher the quality of the program and the lower the cost, the better the deal, according to the U.S. News rankings.

“It is an honor for Wilson to once again be named a ‘Great Schools, Great Prices’ college,” said Dr. Barbara K. Mistick, Wilson’s president. “Since Wilson opened its doors 142 years ago, we have sought to provide a rigorous liberal arts education for all qualified students. In these difficult economic times, Wilson understands the importance of blending individualized attention with affordability,” she said. “This report lets our students and their families know they can be confident they are getting great value for their educational investments.”

U.S. News uses a variety of data to calculate the “Best Colleges” rankings for regional colleges, including such factors as assessments by administrators at peer institutions (25 percent), graduation and retention rates (25 percent), faculty resources (20 percent), student selectivity (15 percent), financial resources (10 percent) and alumni giving rates (5 percent).

In addition, Wilson was listed among all regional colleges with a high proportion of classes under 20 students. According to U.S. News, 85 percent of Wilson’s classes have fewer than 20 students.

“This gives Wilson’s faculty the ability to provide students with more opportunities and encouragement,” said Mistick. “At Wilson, our dedicated faculty members give students the individualized attention they deserve, and that’s what really makes the difference in their educational experiences,” she said.

In the “Great Schools, Great Prices” category for regional northern colleges offering mainly bachelor’s degrees, Wilson’s ranking of fifth among 10 colleges (only schools ranked in or near the top half of their categories are included) shows that 84 percent of its students receive aid, for an average discount of 46 percent based on 2010 data.

Although it can’t replace in-person visits and interactions, the U.S. News & World Report’s 2012 “America’s Best Colleges” issue is a useful guide for parents and students, helping them begin to sort through the vast array of post-secondary school options to select colleges that are best suited for them.

Wilson College offers its students more than 40 fields of study, including majors, minors, concentrations and certificates, as well as two master’s degrees. Additional opportunities are available in physical education and dance; pre-professional programs in law, medicine, veterinary medicine and the health sciences; and a variety of special learning opportunities, internships and study-abroad programs.


Founded in 1869, Wilson College is a liberal arts college dedicated to the education of women. Affiliated with the Presbyterian Church and located in Chambersburg, Pa. Wilson offers bachelor’s degrees in 30 areas and master’s degrees in education and the humanities. The college’s 2010-11 enrollment in the College for Women and the Adult Degree Programs was 796 and included students from 21 states and 13 foreign countries.

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Last Updated: September 13, 2011