Colby-Sawyer College has once again been recognized as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the region, earning Top 10 rankings in three categories in U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 Best Colleges issue.
The report, released Monday, ranks Colby-Sawyer in the Top 10 in its Best Regional Colleges list for a third straight year, and in the Top 5 for Best Value Schools and Best Undergraduate Teaching in the North. Colby-Sawyer ranks first among New Hampshire institutions in all three categories.
According to its website, U.S. News groups colleges into categories based on the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, the most widely accepted classification system in U.S. higher education. The report bills itself as the top peer benchmarking and performance assessment tool in higher education.
“To be recognized across these three categories speaks to the overall quality of the academic programs and complete experience we offer,” Colby-Sawyer President Sue Stuebner said. “We are proud of the great work going on and humbled to be acknowledged for those efforts.”
Colby-Sawyer ranks eighth in the report’s Best Regional Colleges list for schools in the North, ahead of 37 similarly sized institutions spanning from Delaware to Maine. The Best Regional Colleges list ranks both public and private institutions focused on undergraduate education that grant fewer than 50% of their degrees in liberal arts disciplines. Of the seven schools to place ahead of Colby-Sawyer in the category, four are publicly funded.
In addition, the college bettered its fifth place standing from a year ago in the report’s Best Value Schools category, earning a fourth place ranking in the region this year. The category ranks schools based on several criteria, including a quality to price ratio, distribution of need-based aid, and overall undergraduate costs covered through scholarships or grant awards.
“This category, for me, signifies not only the high quality education the institution provides but also the hard work we do in trying to keep our education affordable for families,” Stuebner said. “We know college is an investment and we take our responsibility to deliver a high-quality education at the most affordable price very seriously.”
U.S. News also recognized the quality of Colby-Sawyer faculty through a fourth place ranking for Best Undergraduate Teaching in the region. The category focuses on schools where faculty and administrators have “an especially strong commitment to undergraduate teaching,” according to the report. Schools had to receive seven or more nominations from college presidents, provosts and admissions deans to qualify.
“This ranking acknowledges what our students confirm about the quality of our faculty and the expertise they offer in their specific disciplines,” said Laura Sykes, academic vice president and dean of faculty. “Faculty at Colby-Sawyer are actively engaged in scholarship and practice with students, which gives students the theoretical foundation and real-world engagement they need to succeed in their careers.”
Stuebner echoed that sentiment, calling the college's fourth-place ranking in Best Undergraduate Teaching “especially satisfying.”
“Students are not just a number or simply a biology major at Colby-Sawyer,” Stuebner said. “Our faculty know them well enough to tailor their required internship, course projects, and senior capstone research in ways that help our students build meaningful resumes for life after Colby-Sawyer.”