Westmont in Top 100 for 8th Straight Year

entrancehorizWestmont remains in the top 100 best liberal arts colleges by U.S. News & World Report for the eighth straight year. “America’s Best Colleges, 2017 Edition” lists Westmont as tied for No. 99 out of the nation’s 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 (T-21st), Scripps (23rd), Pitzer (T-32nd) Occidental (T-44nd) and Thomas Aquinas (53rd) Colleges. Soka University of America, which was reclassified in 2010, ranked 41st.

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“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 SAT/ACT 25th-75th percentile (1050-1300), freshmen in the top 10 of their high school class (37 percent) and percentage of classes under 20 (65 percent).

kerrwoodhorizWestmont 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 32nd year of ranking colleges and universities, U.S. News says a college degree is one of the most important investments an individual can make, according to a recent study by the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers.

“The earnings gap between a college and a high school graduate continues to widen,” reports Farran Powell of U.S. News, “with those earning bachelor’s degrees making nearly $1 million more in their lifetime compared with those with only a high school diploma, the report found. While the overall return on a college education nears historic levels, the report suggests there are variations on that return, depending on the school and program a student selects.”

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U.S. News collected data from more than 1,800 colleges and universities, ranking them by different categories and evaluated on up to 15 indicators of academic excellence, such as freshman retention, faculty resources and graduation rates.

“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.”

For four straight years, Forbes Magazine has ranked Westmont in the top 100 colleges and universities in its survey, “The 100 Top ROI Colleges: The Grateful Grads Index.”

In a new ranking, Forbes names Westmont No. 10 of the “Top 50 Most Entrepreneurial Colleges in the Nation” in 2015 based on the number of businesses started by graduates.

The Washington Post listed Westmont as No. 15 in the nation among colleges and universities in 2014 with the greatest salary growth between average starting and average mid-career salaries of graduates.