U.S. News & World Report ranks North Central College as a top-20 institution in its annual list of “America’s Best Colleges.”
North Central is ranked No. 19 in the Midwest among 146 “Regional Universities” that offer a full range of undergraduate and master’s degree programs. For the second straight year, U.S. News ranks North Central in its “Best Undergraduate Teaching” category. North Central is ranked No. 6 among Midwestern schools recognized for strong commitment to the undergraduate teaching experience.
Rankings are based on a system evaluating up to 15 indicators of academic excellence, including assessment by administrators at other institutions and high school counselors, student quality, student retention, class size, faculty qualifications and alumni giving. Nationwide, about 600 schools are ranked by U.S. News within four geographic regions.
The factors that help make North Central one of “America’s Best Colleges” are contributing to record enrollment at the College. North Central expects to welcome the largest first-year class in its 149-year history this fall, topping the 2009-2010 first-year total of 550. Classes for the 2010-2011 academic year begin Sept. 13.
In another recently released survey, The Princeton Review rates North Central College as a “Best in the Midwest” school. While the education services company does not numerically rank institutions, editors recognized North Central for its “excellent academic programs,” and its methodology considers comments from an 80-question student survey. Students cited North Central’s numerous study abroad opportunities, “easily approachable faculty,” generous financial aid packages, challenging academic atmosphere and superb alumni connections as among its strengths.
Also, Forbes ranks North Central at No. 299 in the nation among 610 of “America’s Best Colleges.” The rankings by Forbes and the Center for College Affordability and Productivity evaluate the quality of the educational experience and student achievement.
The methodology includes rankings of student evaluations on RateMyProfessors.com, determination of post-graduate success determined by entries in Who’s Who in America and by average salaries of graduates reported by Payscale.com, estimated average student debt after four years, graduation rates, and the number of students and faculty who have won prestigious awards such as Rhodes Scholarships or Nobel Prizes.