GU Ranked No. 3 Best Regional University, No. 2 Best Value

September 08, 2014

Undergraduate Engineering, Business Programs among Nation’s Best

Gonzaga News Service 

SPOKANE, Washington — In U.S. News & World Report’s annual college rankings released today, Gonzaga University rose one position, relative to last year, in two key ratings: becoming the West’s 3rd best regional university (tie) and 2nd best value (outright). Gonzaga is also ranked 2nd in the West for average freshman retention (tie) and average graduation rates (tie).

The publication also ranks Gonzaga’s School of Engineering and Applied Science as the 29th (tie) best undergraduate engineering program nationwide (among engineering schools whose highest degree is a bachelor’s or master’s) while Gonzaga’s undergraduate business program is included among the nation’s best at No. 113 (tie).

The publication rates Gonzaga the No. 2 best value among West regional universities based on the 2013-2014 net cost of attendance for a student who receives the average level of need-based financial aid; 57 percent of Gonzaga undergraduates received need-based grants in 2013.

Gonzaga’s 93 percent average freshmen retention rate (for freshmen entering in fall 2009 through fall 2012 who returned the following fall) ranks second in the West (tie) and tops all but four regional universities nationwide. Gonzaga’s 82 percent actual graduation rate ranks second in the West (tie) and tops all but six regional universities nationwide (ties five others). The graduation rate indicates the average proportion of a graduating class earning a degree in six years or less (for entering classes from 2004 through fall 2007).

This marks the 16th consecutive year that Gonzaga has been ranked among the West’s top four regional universities, and the 20th consecutive year (27th in the past 30 years) it has been ranked among the West’s best regional universities.

Gonzaga moved up one spot to fourth (tie) among the West’s top 84 regional universities for alumni giving. Eighteen percent of living undergraduate alumni with bachelor’s degrees from the Northwest’s oldest Jesuit, Catholic university made contributions to Gonzaga in 2011-12 and 2012-13.

Gonzaga’s overall ranking is based on several key measures of quality, including: peer assessment of excellence (22.5 percent); graduation and retention rates (22.5 percent); faculty resources (20 percent); student selectivity (12.5 percent); financial resources (10 percent); graduation rate performance* (7.5 percent); and alumni giving (5 percent). (*The difference between actual graduation rates and those predicted by U.S. News & World Report. Gonzaga’s actual graduation rate of 82 percent tops U.S. News’ predicted rate of 76 percent, evidence that Gonzaga is enhancing achievement.)

The Regional Universities classification includes 620 institutions within four broad regions – North, South, Midwest and West. Like national universities, regional universities offer a full range of undergraduate majors and master’s programs; a primary difference between regional and national universities in the rankings is the former offer few, if any, doctoral research degree programs. Gonzaga offers doctoral degrees in leadership studies and nursing practice as well as a juris doctorate from its School of Law.

Gonzaga’s mission-focused care for the individual student is evidenced by its 12-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio (2013-14). Only 2 percent of Gonzaga’s classes include more than 50 students (2013-14), and 41 percent of Gonzaga’s classes include fewer than 20 students (2013-14). Gonzaga also ranks high in the publication’s measure of the academic quality of incoming freshmen. Sixty-eight percent of Gonzaga freshmen that entered in fall 2013 ranked in the top 25 percent of their high school class.

Affirming the quality of Jesuit education, four of the top six Regional Universities in the West are Jesuit institutions: Gonzaga, Santa Clara University, Loyola Marymount University, and Seattle University.