Gonzaga University remained the No. 3 best university in the West in U.S. News & World Report’s annual college rankings for “Universities–Master’s” and is No. 3 for best value as its engineering program rose four spots to No. 21.
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Gonzaga also ranked No. 3 among the top 53 schools in its classification for alumni giving as 25 percent of alumni from the Spokane, Wash.-based university gave back to their alma mater in 2005-06 and 2006-07, an indirect measure of student satisfaction. Among Gonzaga’s peers, only
College (California; 29 percent) and
University (Washington; 28 percent) had higher alumni giving rates. Gonzaga’s
Engineering and Applied Science tied with five other schools as the No. 21 best undergraduate engineering program in the nation among engineering schools without a doctoral program; it was ranked No. 25 last year.
The rankings, made public earlier this fall, mark the 14th consecutive year (21st in the past 24 years) that Gonzaga has been ranked among the West’s best universities. Gonzaga moved up to become the third best university in the West (Universities—master’s category) two years ago after having been ranked No. 4 for each of the four previous years. In addition, Gonzaga retained the No. 2 best average graduation rate in the West (master’s category) as 79 percent of its students earned a degree in six years or less. Gonzaga also held on to the second-best average freshman retention rate in the West (master’s category) as 92 percent of GU freshmen who entered from 2003-2006 returned the following fall.
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).
Gonzaga is rated the No. 3 best value in its classification based on the 2007-2008 average annual cost of $23,384 (after receiving need-based grants); 57 percent of GU students received need-based grants in 2007, and the average discount from the total cost in the 2007-2008 academic year remained at 38 percent from the previous year. The rankings of undergraduate engineering schools are based solely on a peer survey of deans and senior faculty that asked them to rate the programs with which they are familiar on a scale of 1 (marginal) to 5 (distinguished).
The “Universities–Master’s” classification includes 572 universities within four geographical regions – North, South, Midwest and West – that provide a full range of undergraduate and master’s programs.
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 11-to-1 student-faculty ratio (2007). Only 2 percent of Gonzaga’s classes include more than 50 students, and 44 percent include fewer than 20 students (2007). Gonzaga also ranks high in the publication’s measure of the academic quality of incoming freshmen. Seventy-six percent of Gonzaga freshmen who entered in fall 2007 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; peer assessment; and test scores. Highlights of the college rankings are scheduled for publication in the Sept. 1-8 edition of U.S. News & World Report magazine, available for newsstand purchase on Monday, Aug. 25, and in the ’s Best Colleges guidebook that goes on sale Aug. 26. The rankings also are posted online.
The Top 10 “Universities–Master’s” Schools in the West:
10. Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo