4/17/2014 8:18:47 PM

Rising in the Rankings

Friday, August 20, 2010


U.S. News & World Report has released its annual college rankings, called “Best Colleges 2011.” Siena College improved to 114 in the “National Liberal Arts Colleges” category, up from 121 last year.

This ranking places Siena College in “Tier 1” among the country’s liberal arts colleges, which includes 250 schools that focus on undergraduate education in traditional disciplines.

“While we think rankings are best left for individual students and families to interpret, but we’re always glad when people or organizations think we are one of the best colleges in the country,” said Siena College President Fr. Kevin Mullen’75, O.F.M., Ph.D.

U.S. News and World Report’s ratings incorporate a reputational survey and statistical information. They are a widely used as a tool for gathering information about colleges. The magazine doesn’t reveal how it arrives at an institution’s score, but it does discuss the methodology in broad terms.

The largest single piece of the formula is retention and graduation rates, which illustrate how well students move from admission to graduation. Siena College has always done very well on this measure. The College’s retention rate rose slightly last year, to 89%, and its average six-year graduation rate is 77%.

“The U.S. News & World Report formula recognizes that our people do an extraordinary job in seeing students through to graduation. We’re proud of the fact that we have a higher graduation rate than most colleges like us,” Mullen said.

Another benchmark U.S. News & World Report uses is the quality of new students. It is measured by the percentage of enrolled students in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating class, standardized test scores and admission rate. In fall of 2009, Siena’s percentage of enrolled students in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating class rose from 25 percent to 28 percent. SAT scores rose by about 10 points, and the admission acceptance rate dropped from 55 percent to 53 percent, which means Siena College is being more selective about who is admitted to the College.

The combination of those improvements likely contributed to the rise in the U.S. News and World Report rankings.

“We think we do a good job in enrolling bright students, helping them learn about the world and themselves, and preparing them to make contributions to the community as adults. If magazine rankings help a few more students discover the good work we do here, that’s a good thing,” Mullen said. 

That good work has been noticed by other publications as well. In its latest issue, Forbes magazine ranked Siena College 231 on its list of "America's Best Colleges 2010." Forbes ranked undergraduate institutions based on the quality of education, student experience  and the achievements of graduates. Forbes reviewed only 9 percent of the 6,600 accedited post secondary institutions in the United States.

Siena College was ranked among the nation’s top “Small Private Schools” in a recent issue of Parade Magazine. This ranking was based on a survey of 43 top high school guidance counselors in the U.S.

This quote appeared in the print and online editions: “At Siena, there is an intimacy and sense of family that permeates throughout all of the student experiences on campus, and this contributes to the high level of student satisfaction. Involvement in volunteer activities is common, as the typical undergraduate seems to be more altruistically oriented and civic minded than students at other institutions.”


Contact: Ken Jubie
Contact E-mail: communications@siena.edu

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