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St. Kate's rises in U.S. News and World Report annual rankings

Students at St. Kate's spring commencement ceremonies celebrate their achievements.
Students at St. Kate's spring commencement ceremonies celebrate their achievements.
Photo by Rebecca Zenefski '10.

 St. Catherine University has risen to 14th among 146 public and private institutions in the “Regional Universities-Midwest” category of the 2012 U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges.” The University was second among Minnesota institutions in its category.

The rise in the U.S. News rankings from 17 to 14 confirms St. Kate’s success in increasing retention and graduation rates. 

St. Kate’s average retention rate was 79 percent and the University’s average graduation rate improved to 62 from 59 percent (U.S. News uses a four-year average for rankings).

The University’s retention initiatives include the award-winning Peer Mentoring Program that supports multicultural students. The retention rate among these students rose from 75 to 86.4 percent while the University's overall retention rate increased from 77.8 to 83.7 percent (fall 2010 data).

In addition, St. Kate’s peer assessment score rose from 3.1 to 3.2 while the institution’s acceptance rate lowered to 61 percent from 67 percent.

"Our exceptional faculty challenge students academically and are committed to student success," said Senior Vice President Colleen Hegranes. "St. Kate's supports students in becoming creative, independent thinkers prepared to succeed in the world."

St. Kate’s ranks first in state in racial diversity

Once again, St. Catherine University has the highest racial diversity index (0.44) among all Minnesota institutions both public and private across multiple categories. The U.S. News formula produces a diversity index between 0.0 and 1.0—the highest possible rating.

U.S. News also ranks institutions’ "Economic Diversity," which gauges an institution’s efforts to achieve economic diversity by the percentage of students receiving federal Pell grants.  In Minnesota, St. Catherine University has the third highest proportion of students receiving Pell grants, 40 percent. The average among Minnesota’s private institutions is 27 percent.

How Minnesota schools fared

Other Minnesota colleges and universities in the "Regional Universities-Midwest" category include Hamline University (11), Bethel University (19), College of St. Scholastica (26), Augsburg College (28), University of Minnesota–Duluth (36), Winona State University (62), Minnesota State University, Mankato (70), St. Cloud State University (81), Minnesota State University–Moorhead (81), Bemidji State University (91), Concordia University–St. Paul (98) and Southwest Minnesota State University–Marshall (108).

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 572 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. 13, 2011 by Julie Michener

See also: Alumnae/i, Education, Faculty, Liberal Arts, Students