(SPOKANE, Wash.) – Gonzaga University moved up one spot to the No. 3 best university in the West and is ranked as the No. 7 best overall value in the region in U.S. News & World Report’s annual college rankings for the “Universities–Master’s” West category.
The Gonzaga University School of Engineering and Applied Science also rose one notch to tie for the No. 20 best undergraduate engineering program in the nation among engineering schools without a doctoral program. GU also ranked No. 1 among all of the top 61 schools in its classification for its alumni giving rate; 27 percent of GU alumni gave back to their alma mater in 2003-04 and 2004-05, an indirect measure of student satisfaction.
Gonzaga President Rev. Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., said he was pleased with the rankings.
“We believe that these rankings reflect the investment we have been making in our students and resources over the last four years,” Rev. Spitzer said. “The retention and graduation rates are a large part of this ranking, and we are very pleased that we have been ranked tied for second in the region for our graduation rate. This statistic shows true student satisfaction, which is a large part of our raison dêtre. We are also very pleased with our Number One ranking in alumni giving, which shows that the Gonzaga spirit continues well beyond graduation. We are also delighted that the ranking of our Engineering School, which has moved up to Number 20 in the nation (among schools without a doctoral program in engineering).”
The rankings, made public at 12:01 a.m. (Eastern time) Aug. 18, mark the 12th consecutive year (19th in the past 22 years) that Gonzaga has been ranked among the West’s best universities. Gonzaga had been ranked No. 4 in the West for each of the four previous years. In addition, Gonzaga is tied with Trinity University (Texas) for the second-highest graduation rate, 76 percent, in its classification; the graduation rate indicates the average proportion of a graduating class who earn a degree in six years or less (based on freshman classes that started from 1996 through 1999). The overall ranking of No. 3 in the West is based on several key measures of quality, including peer assessment (25 percent); graduation and retention rates (25 percent); faculty resources (20 percent); student selectivity (15 percent); financial resources (10 percent); and alumni giving (5 percent). Click on the following link to find out more about the methodology used for the rankings.
Gonzaga is rated the No. 7 best value in its classification based on the 2005 average annual cost of $21,626 (after receiving need-based grants); 57 percent of GU students received need-based grants in 2005, and the average discount from the total cost in 2005 remained at 36 percent (from 2004 figures). The rankings of engineering schools are based solely on the judgements of deans and senior faculty who rated each program with which they are familiar.
The “Universities–Master’s” classification includes 557 universities within four geographical areas – North, South, Midwest and West – that provide a full range of undergraduate and master’s-level programs but provide few, if any, doctoral programs. Gonzaga’s sole Ph.D. program is the Doctoral Program in Leadership Studies.
Gonzaga’s mission to care for the individual student and support the growth of the whole person – mind, body, and spirit – is evidenced by its 12-to-1 student-faculty ratio (2005). Only 2 percent of GU classes include more than 50 students, and 51 percent include fewer than 20 students (2005). Gonzaga also ranks high in the publication’s measure of retention: Ninety-one percent of freshmen entering Gonzaga from 2001 to 2004 returned the following fall for their sophomore year. Seventy-one percent of GU freshmen who entered in fall 2005 ranked in the top 25 percent of their high school class.
Other factors used by U.S. News to measure academic quality include: percentage of full-time faculty; acceptance rate; and test scores.
Highlights of the rankings will be published in the Aug. 28 edition of U.S. News & World Report magazine, available for newsstand purchase on Aug. 21 – the same day that the 2007 edition of “America’s Best Colleges” guidebook is available. The rankings also are posted online at www.usnews.com.
The Top 10 “Universities–Master’s” in the West:
1. Trinity University (Texas)
2. Santa Clara University (California)
3. Gonzaga University (Washington)
4. Loyola Marymount University (California)
5. University of Portland (Oregon)
Whitworth College (Washington)
7. Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo (California)
Seattle University (Washington)
9. University of Redlands (California)
10. St. Mary’s College of California