Augustana recognized for efficiency among top liberal arts colleges

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

Rock Island, Ill.– U.S. News & World Report once again recognized Augustana College for efficiency. In this year’s report, Augustana earned the third-place ranking among top national liberal arts colleges in the country.

The report ranked institutions of higher education that were able to produce the highest educational quality, based on their 2015 Best Colleges rankings, while containing spending.

In the new rankings, U.S. News measured a school’s financial resources by taking into account how much it spends per student on instruction, research, student services and related educational expenditures.

In the report, Robert Morse, director of data research for U.S. News, said, “This means the colleges and universities on the list are doing a very good job at producing a top ranking for academic quality while carefully spending their available financial resources, as measured relative to other schools that may have greater sources of funding from states, tuition or endowments.”

The improved ranking from 2014 to 2015 validates the efforts of Augustana faculty, staff and administrators as they focus on providing students with opportunities and experiences, while also balancing efficiency and effectiveness.

President of the College Steven Bahls said, “We are a college committed to providing an outstanding education and life-changing experiences while holding down our costs. This latest ranking shows that we are among the best at it.”

Provost Pareena Lawrence explained, “In the last year we also have added faculty and staff and aligned several offices and services in CORE (Careers, Opportunities, Research and Exploration) to help prepare our students for greater success in college and after graduation, all while improving our effectiveness and efficiency.”

Executive Vice President Kent Barnds added, “Affordability is an issue all colleges are grappling with, and our latest strategic plan, Augustana 2020, takes this issue head on. As families consider making a sizable investment in a college education, many of them are encouraged when they see a ranking like this.”

U.S. News used the college’s 2013 fiscal year financial resources per student divided by its overall score in the U.S. News 2015 Best College rankings. In the report, Morse stated, “This calculation reveals how much each school is spending to achieve one point in the overall score and its position in the rankings.”

Financial resources have a 10-percent weight in the Best Colleges ranking methodology.

Other nationally ranked liberal arts colleges earning high rankings were: Hope College in Michigan, first place; College of St. Benedict in Minnesota, second place; Luther College in Iowa, fourth place; Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota, fifth place; Rhodes College in Tennessee, sixth place; and Kalamazoo College in Michigan, seventh place.