Goshen College places high for study abroad program and students with least debt in 2006 U.S.News rankings

GOSHEN, Ind. — In the annually anticipated college ranking release, the 2006 U.S. News & World Report “America’s Best Colleges,” Goshen College again placed high in the third tier of the category of Best Liberal Arts Colleges for the fifth straight year. Goshen was again recognized for its study abroad program and for being a “least debt” college, among other accolades.

Goshen College was listed among 57 schools with outstanding study abroad programs for its 36-year-old Study-Service Term program. Programs included on the study abroad list involved substantial academic work for credit – a year, a semester or an intensive experience equal to a course – and considerable interaction between the student and the culture. Goshen was one of the first schools in the United States to include international education as part of its graduation requirements in 1968.

Goshen College was also named a “least debt” college because the average debt load, among the 68 percent of students who leave college with debt, was only $17,126 for 2004 – below the national average. Goshen offers a full program of financial aid that rewards excellent students and awards an average of $16,700 in assistance to each student. The college also costs 10 percent less than the national average for private colleges.

Among similar liberal arts colleges, Goshen was on the list of the top 100 campuses with the most international students, with 7 percent; on the list of the top schools for economic diversity, with 24 percent of undergraduates receiving federal Pell Grants for low-income students; on the list of the top schools for campus diversity, with Hispanic students comprising the largest minority group representing 5 percent of the student body; and on the list of the schools with the highest graduation rates, at 69 percent.

Within its tier of over 50 colleges and universities, Goshen placed well above the average for schools in the third tier with its average alumni giving rate of 35 percent; with 36 percent of freshmen in the top 10 percent of their high school class in 2004; and for students who scored within the 25th and 75th percentiles on the SAT.

The “national liberal arts colleges” category, in which Goshen College is ranked, is defined as schools emphasizing undergraduate education and awarding at least 50 percent of its degrees in the liberal arts disciplines. Of the 215 schools in this category, most are private institutions. The college rankings are based on six indicators: peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity and alumni giving.

Many of the rankings and some articles from the “America’s Best Colleges” guidebook appear in the Aug. 30, 2005, weekly issue of U.S.News & World Report that will reach newsstands Aug. 22. All 2006 rankings are available on the magazine’s Web site at www.usnews.com/.

Editors: For more information about this release, contact Goshen College News Bureau Director Jodi H. Beyeler at (574) 535-7572 or jodihb@goshen.edu.


Goshen College, established in 1894, is a four-year residential Christian liberal arts college rooted in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. The college’s Christ-centered core values – passionate learning, global citizenship, compassionate peacemaking and servant-leadership – prepare students as leaders for the church and world. Recognized for its unique Study-Service Term program, Goshen has earned citations of excellence in Barron’s Best Buys in Education, “Colleges of Distinction,” “Making a Difference College Guide” and U.S.News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” edition, which named Goshen a “least debt college.” Visit www.goshen.edu/.