Ursinus Earns Top 100 National Liberal Arts Distinction

U.S. News & World Report has ranked Ursinus 90th on its annual list, up three spots from 2017 and a five-spot improvement from 2016. 

U.S. News annually provides numerical rankings and lists to help students narrow their college search.

“It fills me with great pride to again be recognized among the top liberal arts colleges in the country,” Ursinus President Brock Blomberg said. “This year, we have produced unparalleled opportunities for our students, fostering creative and innovative thinking while recruiting and retaining high caliber students, faculty and staff, strengthening Ursinus’s position as a national leader in the liberal arts.”

This year, Ursinus opened its new Innovation and Discovery Center, which builds upon the college’s strong reputation in the sciences by advancing research and learning across disciplines. For the first time in the Ursinus history, the college will combine policy, entrepreneurial learning and scientific study under one roof. The IDC also houses two of the college’s interdisciplinary centers: the Parlee Center for Science and the Common Good and the U-Imagine Center for Integrative and Entrepreneurial Studies.

Additionally, the Institute for Student Success, launched during fall 2017, provides best-in-class academic support that has improved the college’s first-year retention rate to more than 88 percent. 

Ursinus also expanded its Gateway Scholarship, which guarantees eligible students $30,000 a year for four years, to make Ursinus an affordable option for even more high-achieving students.

Ursinus shares the no. 90 U.S. News ranking with four other institutions: Gustavus Adolphus College (Minnesota); New College of Florida; Reed College (Oregon); and Southwestern University (Texas). It also ranks 81st among U.S. News’s Best Value schools, which takes into account a school’s academic quality, as indicated by its 2019 U.S. News Best Colleges ranking, and the 2017-18 net cost of attendance for a student who received the average level of need-based financial aid. The higher the quality of the program and the lower the cost, the better the deal, according to the publication.

Ursinus saw improvements in its peer assessment rating and high school counselors rating, according to U.S. News.

Earlier this year, Ursinus was ranked among the top liberal arts colleges in the nation according to Washington Monthly, appearing 89th among 228 national liberal arts institutions. The publication ranks colleges based on their “contribution to the public good” in three broad categories: social mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students); research (producing cutting-edge scholarship); and Service (encouraging students to give something back to their country).

Ursinus is also included in Washington Monthly’s list of “Best Bang for the Buck” institutions, appears in the top 100 among liberal arts colleges as ranked by Forbes, and is on Forbes’ “Grateful Grads” list. —By Ed Moorhouse