Every year, U.S. News & World Report ranks colleges and universities nationwide in an edition called “America’s Best Colleges.”
This year, Mercyhurst College has been declared number 49 in the Regional University North category.
Freshman Christopher Lilley said, “I always brag to my friends from home about going to Mercyhurst, and now I have even more to tell them since we are in the top 50.”
The U.S. News & World Report’s mission is to help students decide which institution to attend. This ranking allows students to compare schools side by side to see which is best suited for them.
U.S. News & World Report uses data from 10 criteria portraying academic excellence such as retention, student selectivity, graduation rate, alumni giving and faculty resources to determine a school’s ranking.
In order to categorize schools, U.S. News & World Report uses the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education 2010, which sorts colleges according to widely accepted criteria.
The Regional University category is comprised of 626 universities, which are further divided into north, south, midwest and west.
According to Vice President of Academic Affairs Phillip Belfiore, Ph.D., the variables that make up the rankings are things that good schools are already doing.
With additions to Mercyhurst, such as the new building, laboratories and university status, the faculty expects the school’s rank to increase.
“It’s good this publication recognizes the good work we’ve done—we will continue to improve,” Belfiore said.
He explained that the rankings also have to do with how peer colleges see Mercyhurst. Each institution must identify which college or university fulfills each criteria the best.
The student body at Mercyhurst has been proud of the honor the school received.
“I was so impressed that I checked out the rankings as soon as I could,” said senior Amanda Chance. “I found not only were we in the top 50, but that we also beat Gannon. Even U.S. News & World Report knows we’re the better university.”
Junior Mark Vidunas agrees. “I think it is great Mercyhurst is getting the recognition it deserves as an entire educational institution as opposed to being just for a few of the programs. This is really good for boosting the school’s reputation and will in turn help Mercyhurst graduates by increasing the value of our degrees out in the work force,” he said.
The rankings for “America’s Best Colleges,” can be found here.