U.S. News & World Report: GU 4th in West

September 12, 2016

No. 2 for Graduation Rate,
No. 4 among 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 for the second year in a row. Gonzaga’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences is the 22nd best (tie) engineering program nationwide (among engineering schools whose highest degree is a bachelor’s or master’s). Gonzaga also ranks No. 4 among the West’s best colleges for veterans.

Gonzaga ranks No. 2 in the West for its average first-year student retention rate of 94 percent and it also ranks No. 2 (tie) in the region for its (2015) graduation rate of 83 percent. First-year retention indicates the average percentage of first-year students entering from fall 2011 through fall 2014 who returned the following fall. The graduation rate indicates the average percentage of students in the classes entering from fall 2006 through fall of 2009 who earned a degree in six years or less.

Gonzaga’s No. 13 best value ranking among regional universities in the West is based on the 2015-2016 net cost of attendance for a student who received the average level of need-based financial aid; 55 percent of Gonzaga undergraduates received need-based grants in 2015.

This marks the 18th consecutive year that Gonzaga has been ranked among the top four regional universities in the West, and the 22nd consecutive year (29th in the past 32 years) it has been ranked among the best regional universities.

Gonzaga ranks No. 5 (tie) among the West’s top 93 regional universities for alumni giving. Sixteen percent of living undergraduate alumni who earned bachelor’s degrees from the Northwest’s oldest Jesuit, Catholic university made financial contributions to Gonzaga in 2013-14 and 2014-15.

Gonzaga’s overall ranking is based on several key measures of quality, including peer assessment (22.5 percent), retention and graduation rates (22.5 percent), faculty resources (20 percent), student selectivity (12.5 percent), financial resources (10 percent), the difference between predicted and actual graduation rates (7.5 percent) and alumni giving (5 percent).

The regional universities classification includes 653 institutions in 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 that the former offer few, if any, doctoral research programs. Gonzaga offers doctoral degrees in leadership studies and nursing practice as well as a juris doctorate from the School of Law.

Gonzaga’s mission-focused care for individual student is evidenced by its 12-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio (2015-16). Only 2 percent of Gonzaga’s classes include more than 50 students (2014-15) and 35 percent of Gonzaga’s classes include fewer than 20 students (2014-15). The difference between the publication’s “predicted graduation rate” of 77 percent and the actual graduation rate of 83 percent also offers evidence that Gonzaga is enhancing student achievement.

Gonzaga also ranks high in the publication’s measure of the academic quality of incoming freshmen, with 71 percent of Gonzaga freshmen who entered in the fall of 2015 ranked in the top 25 percent of their high school class.

Affirming the quality of Jesuit education, three of the top four regional universities in the West are Jesuit institutions.

The rankings are available online http://www.usnews.com/colleges. The print edition of the “Best Colleges 2017” guidebook will be available at newsstands on Oct. 4.