Mercyhurst University continues to be recognized for its excellence in academics and overall collegiate experience as it received a top tier ranking of Best Regional Universities in the North for the 2018 edition of America’s Best Colleges, released Sept. 12 by U.S. News & World Report.
Mercyhurst is a part of the Comprehensive Regional Universities of the North that includes all of the places of higher education in Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York and the New England states. Mercyhurst was ranked 48th among the other 179 schools in this category.
David Dausey, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, expressed his excitement and pride for the Mercyhurst community as it once again proved its commitment to students by receiving such high praise by a well-respected source.
“These statistics give a little sense of what it means that we ranked this high,” said Dausey. “It is not bad at all for an institution of our size and composition; I think we fare well.”
Rankings do vary from year to year and from each source. U.S. News & World Report ranks schools on many different aspects of the entire school to reflect the overall quality. The ranking system is formed using data such as the student body composition, freshman retention rate, graduation rate, student/faculty ratio, acceptance rate and alumni giving.
“We appreciate rankings, but we know that they are imperfect,” said Dausey. “They can change depending on varying circumstances. They are just a facet of how we are measured as a university.”
Because rankings can be more subjective and based on previous reputations, the university seeks to uphold its high standards, but not at the expense of the student-oriented community that Mercyhurst is known for.
“We always perform well in these metrics because of our commitment to students,” Dausey said.
Rankings are used for potential students to use to gain a face value of the university and its reputation, but it is the way these rankings are attained that Dausey sees as essential. By focusing the university on the student, statistics such as retention rate and job placement fall into place.
“We are less focused on rankings but more on the individual student,” said Dausey. “We try to make it a constant focus to build that community over our other priorities.
“When our rankings reflect what our priorities are here,” he said, “that is even better.”