Spotlight

Wilson College Ranks Fifth in U.S. News' "Best Colleges" in North

Wilson College is a leader among colleges offering a high-quality education at an affordable price, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2013 “America’s Best Colleges” issue, which ranks Wilson the fifth-best value college in its category. It is the 12th straight year Wilson has earned top ranking in the category for regional colleges in the North. It also ranks Wilson 13th overall in the best regional colleges “focused on undergraduate education” in the northern region. Highlights of the rankings will be printed on the magazine’s website and in its “Best Colleges 2013” guidebook, which will be available on newsstands on Sept. 18.

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.

“Wilson is honored to have been recognized as a leader among liberal arts colleges,” said Dr. Barbara K. Mistick, Wilson’s president. “We feel we have a partnership with our students and their families, and we want them to be confident they are getting great value for their educational investments. That is why Wilson made the decision to keep our tuition at the same rate this year as for 2011-12,” said Mistick. “This designation is an indication of a high quality education at a great price.”

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, 84 percent of Wilson’s classes have fewer than 20 students.

"Small classes give Wilson’s students easy access to our accomplished faculty and provide more opportunities for academic engagement with their professors and classmates,” said Mistick. “Students tell us it is the personal relationships with their professors that distinguishes a Wilson education,” she said.

In the “Great Schools at Great Prices” category for regional northern colleges offering mainly bachelor’s degrees, Wilson’s ranking of among 10 colleges (only schools ranked in or near the top half of their categories are included) shows that 87 percent of its students receive aid, for an average discount of 47 percent based on 2011 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.

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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., today, women and men can earn bachelor’s degrees in 30 areas and master’s degrees in education and the humanities. The college’s 2011-12 enrollment in the College for Women and the Adult Degree Programs was 746 and included 21 students from 10 foreign countries. Visit www.wilson.edu for more information.

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