Goshen College moves up in ‘U.S. News’ rankings of best liberal arts colleges

GOSHEN, Ind. — In a report eagerly anticipated by incoming college students and their parents, Goshen College placed 131st out of 249 liberal arts colleges in the 2010 “America’s Best Colleges” rankings by “U.S. News & World Report.” Last year it was ranked 149th out of 265. Goshen continues to be ranked in the third tier of Best Liberal Arts Colleges for the ninth straight year.

In addition, Goshen was ranked sixth for the percentage of graduates studying abroad among all colleges and universities, with 85 percent. And among liberal arts colleges, Goshen was given special recognition for being a “least debt” college, having a high freshmen retention rate, low acceptance rate, low class sizes, and for the economic and racial diversity among its students, as well as a high percentage of international students.

“We are a Christ-centered liberal arts college with much to offer, and these rankings show some of the important ways we prepare students to be informed, articulate, sensitive and responsible members of a rapidly changing world,” said President James E. Brenneman. “But these numbers and statistics cannot convey the daily stories of the ways our students and faculty – with compassion and conviction – are bringing about change in the world around us.”

Goshen also placed well in the liberal arts college ranking categories of alumni giving (97th), financial resources (108th) graduation and retention (132nd) and student selectivity (113th). All of these rankings were higher than last year’s.

Among similar liberal arts colleges, Goshen was ranked 93rd for being a “least debt college,” with an average total indebtedness for the 2008 graduating class of $20,857. In other rankings, Goshen: was among the top colleges in the freshman retention rate (83 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 racial diversity; on the list of top schools for the most international students, with 5 percent; on the list of schools with the lowest acceptance rate, at 62.5 percent; and on the list of schools with the highest proportion of classes under 20 students, at 69.2 percent. In addition, high school counselors gave Goshen high scores for providing the best education to their students on a list of liberal arts colleges, ranking Goshen 104th.

“U.S. News & World Report” categorizes institutions by mission and ranks them based on data in 15 areas related to academic excellence such as peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources and class sizes, student selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving.

The “Liberal Arts” category, in which Goshen College is ranked, is defined by the Carnegie Commission as schools emphasizing undergraduate education and awarding 50 percent of degrees in the arts and sciences. Most are prestigious private institutions, including Williams College, which took first place this year. The top-placing Indiana institutions were DePauw University (43rd), Wabash College (54th), Earlham College (62nd), St. Mary’s College (97th) and Hanover College (105th).

Many of the rankings and some articles from the “America’s Best Colleges” guidebook appear in the September 2009 edition of “U.S. News & World Report” that will reach newsstands Aug. 24. All 2010 rankings are available on the magazine’s Web site at www.usnews.com.

Earlier this month, Forbes.com ranked Goshen College 177th out of all U.S. colleges and universities, based on the quality of education provided, how much students achieve and several other key factors, in its first ratings of U.S. colleges and universities. Sixteen Indiana schools made the list, with Goshen at seventh.

Most students studying abroad

  1. Lee University, Cleveland, Tenn., 100%
  2. Thomas More College of Liberal Arts, Merrimack, N.H., 100%
  3. California Maritime Academy, Vallejo, Calif., 100%
  4. Queens University of Charlotte, Charlotte, N.C., 90%
  5. Yeshiva University, New York, N.Y., 90%
  6. Goshen College, Goshen, Ind., 85%
  7. Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo, Mich., 83%
  8. Centre College, Danville, Ky., 83%
  9. Earlham College, Richmond, Ind., 76%
  10. Christendom College, Front Royal, Va., 75%

Source: “U.S. News & World Report’s” 2010 edition of America’s Best Colleges. Learn more 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 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.