Westmont jumped three spots and is ranked in the top 100 best liberal arts colleges by U.S. News & World Report for the seventh straight year. “America’s Best Colleges, 2016 Edition” lists Westmont as tied for No. 93 out of the nation’s 245 liberal arts colleges.
Only eight other liberal arts colleges in California appear in the top 100: Pomona (T-4th), Claremont McKenna (T-9th), Harvey Mudd (14th), Scripps (29th), Pitzer (36th) Occidental (43rd) and Thomas Aquinas (82th) Colleges. Soka University of America, which was reclassified in 2010, ranked 45th.
“The ranking affirms Westmont’s distinctive educational experience, which transforms young men and women into effective leaders with character,” says President Gayle D. Beebe. “Students grow deeper in all areas of their lives — intellectual, spiritual and personal — while developing their talents, discovering their calling and preparing for a lifetime of service.”
Westmont improved in several U.S. News categories, including high school counselor assessment score (3.3), the actual 2014 graduation rate (78 percent), percentage of classes under 20 (64 percent) and the percentage of classes of 50 or more (2 percent).
Westmont is just one of two liberal arts colleges among the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) in the top 100, and the only one in California to be listed in the first tier.
Now in its 31st year, U.S. News says the host of intangibles that make up the college experience can’t be measured by a series of data points. “But for families concerned with finding the best academic value for their money, the U.S. News Best Colleges rankings provide an excellent starting point for the search,” write authors Robert J. Morse and Eric Brooks. “They allow you to compare at a glance the relative quality of institutions based on such widely accepted indicators of excellence as freshman retention and graduation rates and the strength of the faculty.”
“Along with the U.S. News rankings, I hope college-bound students consider such factors as community, spiritual life and their relationships with faculty when choosing a college,” says Silvio Vazquez, dean of admission. “About 80 percent of students participate in some kind of community service. The student to faculty ratio at Westmont is 12 to 1.”
In August, three college rankings listed Westmont among the top schools in the nation. Forbes Magazine ranked Westmont in the top 100 colleges and universities for the third straight year in its Grateful Grads: Top Return-on-Investment. The Full List of Forbes’ Top Colleges 2015 ranks Westmont as No. 22 in California and the only California member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. Princeton Review has recognized Westmont in three different categories, including Best Western, Colleges That Pay You Back, and Private Schools. Forbes also recently ranked Westmont as the No. 10 on its 2015 list of the 50 most entrepreneurial colleges in the nation.