U.S. News & World Report Ranks Gonzaga No. 4 Best Regional University in West, No. 4 Best Value


September 08, 2015

Engineering, Business Programs among Nation’s Best;
GU No. 4 in West for ‘Best Colleges for Veterans’



SPOKANE, Wash. – U.S. News & World Report, in its annual college rankings released today, ranks Gonzaga University the 4th best regional university in the West, and the 4th best value. Gonzaga’s School of Engineering and Applied Science is the 28th (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 the nation’s 93rd best (tie), according to the publication. In a new “web extra” ranking, Gonzaga is rated No. 4 in the West for “Best Colleges for Veterans.”

The publication also ranks Gonzaga No. 2 (tie) in the West for its average freshman retention rate of 93 percent, and is second in the region for its (2014) graduation rate of 83 percent. Freshman retention indicates the average proportion of freshmen entering from fall 2010 through fall 2013 that returned the following fall. The graduation rate indicates the average proportion of a graduating class earning a degree in six years or less (for entering classes from fall 2005 through fall 2008).

Gonzaga’s No. 4 best value ranking among West regional universities is based on the 2014-2015 net cost of attendance for a student who received the average level of need-based financial aid; 56 percent of Gonzaga undergraduates received need-based grants in 2014.

This marks the 17th consecutive year that Gonzaga has been ranked among the West’s top four regional universities, and the 21st consecutive year (28th in the past 31 years) it has been ranked among the West’s best regional universities.

Gonzaga ranks fourth among the West’s top 87 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 2012-13 and 2013-14.

Gonzaga’s overall ranking is based on several key measures of quality, including: peer assessment of excellence (22.5 percent); retention and graduation 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 regional universities classification includes 618 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 11-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio (2014-15). Only 2 percent of Gonzaga’s classes include more than 50 students (2013-14), and 48 percent of Gonzaga’s classes include fewer than 20 students (2014-15). Gonzaga also ranks high in the publication’s measure of the academic quality of incoming freshmen. Seventy-one percent of Gonzaga freshmen that entered in fall 2014 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.

The rankings are available online at http://www.usnews.com/colleges. The print edition of the “Best Colleges 2016” guidebook will be available at newsstands on Sept. 29.

*The difference between schools’ actual graduation rate and those predicted by U.S. News & World Report. Gonzaga’s actual graduation rate of 83 percent tops U.S. News’ predicted rate of 75 percent, evidence that Gonzaga is enhancing achievement.