MC ranked by Washington Monthly, U.S. News & World Report and others

Sept. 10, 2013
Contact: Karen B. Eldridge, Director of Communications
865.981.8207; karen.eldridge@maryvillecollege.edu

With the 2013-2014 academic year underway, Maryville College is enjoying recognitions and rankings from various national publications.

In its September/October issue, Washington Monthly, a bimonthly nonprofit magazine that covers United States politics and government, has ranked the College No. 68 in its list of top liberal arts colleges. Only two other schools in Tennessee were listed higher: Rhodes College in Memphis and Fisk University in Nashville.

“Unlike U.S. News & World Report and similar guides, this one asks not what colleges can do for you, but what colleges are doing for the country,” reads the online introduction to the rankings. “Are they educating low-income students, or just catering to the affluent? Are they improving the quality of their teaching, or ducking accountability for it? Are they trying to become more productive—and if so, why is average tuition rising faster than health care costs?

“Every year we lavish billions of tax dollars and other public benefits on institutions of higher learning. This guide asks: Are we getting the most for our money?” the introduction concludes.

Specifically, Washington Monthly rates schools 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 PhDs), and service (encouraging students to give something back to their country).

Dr. William T. “Tom” Bogart, president of Maryville College, said he was pleased with the recognition and believes this ranking is more in line with the College’s mission of preparing students for lives of citizenship and leadership and encouraging students to serve.

“In Maryville College’s mission statement, it says, in part, that we ‘prepare students to dedicate a life of creativity and service to the peoples of the world. This preparation begins by fully engaging our students in community service during their time here,” he said. “We are proud of their many contributions and grateful to the community that embraces our students as important contributors.”

MC was ranked No. 7 overall in the category for community service participation and hours served. It is estimated that Maryville College students complete 2,000 hours of community service every week.

Among U.S. News’ best liberal arts colleges

For the fourth consecutive year, Maryville College has been listed in U.S. News & World Report’s top tier of national liberal arts colleges.

In the magazine’s “Best Colleges 2014” guidebook, the College is listed as No. 176 out of 248 national private and public liberal arts colleges.

The most complete version of the new rankings, data, tables and lists – including extensive statistical profiles for each school and a search tool to enable prospective students and parents to find the college that best fits their needs – is available on the magazine’s website, usnews.com/colleges. The guidebook is expected to hit newsstands on Sept. 24.

U.S. News defines “liberal arts colleges” as those institutions with an emphasis on undergraduate education and a practice of awarding at least half of their degrees in the arts and sciences, which include such disciplines as English, the biological and physical sciences, history, foreign languages and the visual and performing arts but exclude professional disciplines such as business, education and nursing.

Williams College and Amherst College, both in Massachusetts, topped the list.

MC adds ‘College of Distinction’ to accolades

Maryville College has been honored as a College of Distinction for the 2013-2014 school year. The College of Distinction designation is given to select schools to honor their excellence in student-focused higher education. Maryville College was found to excel in all four distinctions and will receive a personal profile on the Colleges of Distinction™ website.

Colleges of Distinction is a web-based guide for high school juniors and seniors who are seeking a school that is nationally recognized and highly recommended by professionals in the field of education. Colleges and universities are nominated for participation by high school counselors, and then evaluated using qualitative and quantitative research. Schools selected must excel in the four distinctions: engaged students, great teaching, vibrant communities and successful outcomes. The colleges and universities are not ranked and instead are members of a consortium of other equally impressive schools.

“We focus on colleges that are the best places to learn, grow and succeed,” said Tyson Schritter, executive editor of Colleges of Distinction. “Schools designated as ‘Colleges of Distinction’ create well-rounded graduates and are among the very best in the country.”

Others taking notice

MC has also been named a “Best Southeastern College” by The Princeton Review, recognized as a “Top Adventure College” by Blue Ridge Outdoor magazine, and the school was ranked No. 110 among the best colleges for your money by College Factual.

For MC’s “Best Southeastern College” title, The Princeton Review identified a total of 643 colleges considered to be “academically outstanding and well worth consideration in your college search,” according to company’s website.

The College was featured in the August issue of Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine due to its placement in the Elite 8 of the publication’s “Top Adventure College” contest earlier this year. MC received recognition for its outdoor adventure program in the magazine, as well.

Collegefactual.com is the newest website to rank Maryville College. Using customized outcomes-based tools and rankings systems to guide students through the college selection process, the site recognizes “best colleges for your money.

MC’s rank – No. 110 – reflects the institution’s academic quality and economic value, based on the cost of obtaining an undergraduate degree.

A number of outcomes-based factors were used to determine this ranking, such as average student loan debt per student, default rates, how well the institution retains and graduates students and graduates’ starting salaries and earning potential.

“While no single award or accolade is enough to judge an academic institution, it is meaningful to receive honors from multiple sources evaluating the many attributes of a college,” Bogart said. “We hope these rankings will pique the interest of prospective students and their families and that they will decide to visit Maryville College so that they can see for themselves what an impressive place this is.”