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St. Catherine University ranking remains high in U.S. News "America's Best Colleges"

St. Kate's ranking in U.S. News's "America's Best Colleges" was buoyed by a rise in retention and graduation rates. Pictured here are seniors at the opening celebration.
St. Kate's ranking in U.S. News's "America's Best Colleges" was buoyed by a rise in retention and graduation rates. Pictured here are seniors at the opening celebration.
Photo by Rebecca Zenefski '10.

St. Catherine University retains its strong ranking — 14th among 146 public and private institutions in the “Regional Universities-Midwest” category — in the 2013 U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges.” The University was second among Minnesota institutions in its category.

Since last year’s rankings

Both the University’s retention rate and graduation rates have risen again. The average retention rate rose from 79 percent to 81 percent. U.S. News uses a four-year average for rankings — the University’s retention rate has been 84 percent the past two years. In addition the University’s average graduation rate rose from 62 to 64 percent.

"St. Kate’s creates a dynamic learning environment for students to be effective, ethical leaders,” said Senior Vice President Colleen Hegranes. "Our faculty and staff challenge and support students to develop the skills and intellectual flexibility they will need to succeed in their lives and careers after graduation." 

The University’s peer assessment score remained stable at 3.2, while the acceptance rate — a measure of the institution’s admission selectivity (the proportion of students accepted from among those who applied) — lowered from 61 to 52 percent. A lower acceptance rate is one marker of academic rigor.

Once again, St. Catherine University has the highest racial diversity index (0.46) among all Minnesota institutions both public and private. The average index among Minnesota private institutions is 0.27.

St. Catherine University has the fourth highest proportion of students receiving Pell grants — 47 percent — among Minnesota institutions. U.S. News calls this the "Economic Diversity Index" — a measure of an institution’s efforts to achieve economic diversity. The average among Minnesota private institutions is 33 percent.

St. Kate’s diversity in recruitment recognized

St. Kate’s was again recognized (along with Creighton University in Nebraska, Hamline University and the University of St. Thomas) on the "A+ Options for B Students" list — which indicates a willingness to give a chance to promising students who may not yet have realized their full potential.

U.S. News editors note, "These colleges, which have strong ratings in the 2013 U.S. News Best Colleges rankings, accept a significant number of students with nonstratospheric transcripts."

How Minnesota schools fared

Other Minnesota colleges and universities in the "Regional Universities-Midwest" category include Hamline University (9), Bethel University (24), College of St. Scholastica and Augsburg College (tied at 27), University of Minnesota–Duluth (35), Winona State University (58), Minnesota State University, Mankato (70), Bemidji State University, Concordia University–St. Paul and St. Cloud State University (tied at 93), Minnesota State University–Moorhead (102), and Southwest Minnesota State University–Marshall (107).

More about rankings

Rankings are composed of six components:

  • Peer assessment (25 percent)
  • Graduation and retention rates (25 percent)
  • Faculty resources (20 percent)
  • Student selectivity (15 percent)
  • Financial resources (10 percent)
  • Alumni giving (5 percent)

There are 625 universities in four regions across the country and institutions are listed under four headings:

  • National universities
  • National liberal arts colleges
  • Regional universities
  • Regional colleges
Sep. 12, 2012 by Julie Michener

See also: Education, Faculty, Liberal Arts, Students