Published: Fall 2016 in College News

Where Does Westmont Stand in the Rankings?

U.S. News & World Report lists Westmont in the top 100 liberal arts colleges, and pay scale and Forbes also rank Westmont highly. 

Westmont remains in the top 100 best liberal arts colleges for the eighth straight year according to U.S. News & World Report’s America’s Best Colleges, 2017 Edition. Westmont tied for No. 99.

“The ranking affirms our distinctive educational experience, which transforms students 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.”

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), Soka University of America (41st) and Thomas Aquinas (53rd). One other liberal arts college in the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) appears in the top 100.

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).

U.S. News, which has published the ranking for 32 years, says a college degree is one of the most important investments an individual can make, citing a study by the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers.

“The earnings gap between a college and a high school graduate continues to widen,” says 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.”

“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 our students participate in community service, and our student-to-faculty ratio is 12 to 1.”

Salary Potential

PayScale’s 2016-2017 College Salary Report lists Westmont graduates’ salary potential in four distinct categories: No. 16 among national liberal arts colleges, No. 14 among all California colleges, No. 17 nationally for business majors and No. 74 for all U.S. universities and colleges.

The Best Liberal Art Colleges by Salary Potential report lists the early career pay (median salary for alumni with 0-5 years of experience) at $45,700 and the mid-career pay (median salary for alumni with more than 10 years of experience) at $98,000. More than two thirds of the alumni surveyed say their work “makes the world a better place.”

PayScale, the creator of the world’s largest compensation database, looked at the starting and mid-career pay for more than a million college graduates, including professionals who earned a
bachelor’s degree from 611 colleges and universities. Its College Salary Report, compiled with data from people who successfully completed PayScale’s employee survey, sorts the results by
school, degree and college major.

PayScale’s “Best Universities and Colleges by Salary Potential” ranked Westmont No. 74 out of the nation’s 963 colleges and universities. Top members of the CCCU were Wheaton at No. 77, Biola at No. 327, Point Loma Nazarene tied at No. 423, Azusa Pacific at No. 441 and Calvin at No. 492.

Forbes Rankings

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. Forbes also named Westmont No. 10 of the “Top 50 Most Entrepreneurial Colleges in the Nation” in 2015 based on the number of businesses started by graduates.

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