Carleton College Ranked Fifth Among Best Liberal Arts Colleges by U.S. News & World Report

August 18, 2005

Carleton College placed fifth overall in U.S. News & World Report magazine's annual rankings of the best national liberal arts colleges. The College also ranked first in alumni giving, a measure of alumni satisfaction with the school, for the fourth consecutive year.

"Carleton is all about great teaching, and there is a great deal about teaching that is difficult to quantify. As much as these rankings are a measure of teaching, we are pleased that they recognize the extraordinary efforts of our faculty and staff," said President Robert A. Oden Jr. "What is most heartening about the report is Carleton's continued designation as number one in alumni giving. Carleton graduates indicate their gratitude for their experience at Carleton by giving back to the College in numbers almost without parallel in American education."

This is the fifth consecutive year that the magazine has ranked Carleton in the top five, and the tenth consecutive year in the top 10. The rankings take into account the academic reputation of the school, admissions selectivity, retention and graduation rates, class size, financial resources and alumni giving, among other factors. Carleton's overall score was 92 on a scale of 100, and the College received a score of 4.4 on a 5.0 scale in peer assessment, which is an evaluation of the academic reputation of the school by presidents, provosts and admissions deans from similar colleges.

Alumni giving is a key factor in determining the overall ranking, as it is a measure of how alumni feel about the College. Sixty-seven percent of alumni contributed to the Alumni Annual Fund in 2002-2003 and 2003-2004.

"The participation in the Alumni Annual Fund is an important measure for Carleton because it is a key indicator of our graduates' satisfaction with their Carleton education," Oden said. "The dedication of our staff and faculty shows up with special clarity here, and we are again most grateful to them for all they do to make Carleton the College it is."

The magazine singled out Carleton for having several special programs that lead to student success. These include the senior capstone project, undergraduate research/creative projects, opportunities for study abroad and writing in the disciplines. The magazine also cited Carleton for the economic diversity of the student body and as a best value.

The other top schools this year are Williams College in Massachusetts (first), Amherst College in Massachusetts (second), Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania (third), and Wellesley College in Massachusetts (fourth).

The full rankings can be found on the U.S. News & World Report Web site.