Gonzaga’s 81-Percent Graduation Rate Ranks No. 2 in West, No. 8 Nationwide Among Regional Universities
SPOKANE, Wash. – Gonzaga University is the No. 4 best “Regional University” in the West (tie) in U.S. News & World Report’s annual college rankings released today. Also, Gonzaga ranks No. 2 in its category for alumni giving and for “A-Plus Schools for B Students,” and No. 4 for best value. Gonzaga’s undergraduate engineering program ranks No. 17 (tie) nationwide, while its civil engineering program is No. 7 (tie) nationally for engineering specialties.
This marks the 12th consecutive year that Gonzaga has been ranked among the West’s top four regional universities, and the 16th consecutive year (23rd in the past 26 years) that Gonzaga has been ranked among the West’s best universities in its category. Gonzaga’s 81-percent graduation rate ranks No. 2 in the West and No. 8 (tie) nationwide among all regional universities. Gonzaga’s average freshman retention rate of 92 percent (for freshmen entering in 2005 through 2008) is second in its category only to Santa Clara University.
Gonzaga ranks second among the top 84 schools in its classification for alumni giving as 22 percent of living undergraduate alumni with bachelor’s degrees from the Spokane, Wash.-based Jesuit and Catholic university gave back to Gonzaga in 2007-08 and 2008-09, a measure of student satisfaction. Among Gonzaga’s peers, only Mills College (California; 24 percent) ranked higher for alumni giving. Gonzaga’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, which celebrated its 75th anniversary last fall, tied with three other schools for the No. 17 best undergraduate engineering program in the nation (at engineering schools whose highest degree is a bachelor’s or master’s). It’s the first time Gonzaga’s civil engineering program has been ranked in the top 10 (tied for No. 7) for undergraduate engineering specialties at schools without doctoral programs.
Gonzaga’s overall ranking is based on a host of indicators of academic excellence, including: peer assessment (25 percent); graduation and retention rates (25 percent); faculty resources (20 percent); student selectivity (15 percent); financial resources (10 percent); and alumni giving (5 percent).
The publication rates Gonzaga the No. 4 best value among West regional universities based on the 2009-2010 average annual cost of $25,179 for undergraduates (after receiving need-based grants). Fifty-seven percent of GU students received need-based grants in 2009.
The Regional Universities classification includes 572 universities within four geographical regions – North, South, Midwest and West – that provide a full range of undergraduate majors and master’s programs. Regional universities offer few if any doctoral programs, the key distinction between regional and national universities. The category in which Gonzaga is ranked – Regional Universities – changed in name from last year (Universities-Master’s) to better reflect the composition of the group.
Gonzaga’s mission to care for the individual student is evidenced by its 10-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio (2009). Only 1 percent of Gonzaga’s classes included more than 50 students in 2009, and 46 percent included fewer than 20 students (2009). Gonzaga also ranks high in the publication’s measure of the academic quality of incoming freshmen. Seventy-two percent of Gonzaga freshmen who entered in fall 2009 ranked in the top 25 percent of their high school class. Four of the top six Regional Universities in the West are Jesuit institutions: Santa Clara, Loyola Marymount, Gonzaga, and Seattle universities.
Highlights of the rankings will be published in the September (2010) issue of U.S. News & World Report magazine, available Aug. 31. The 2011 “America’s Best Colleges” guidebook goes on sale Aug. 24. The rankings also are posted online at www.usnews.com. Complete rankings are in the Premium Online Edition, available today (Aug. 17) for $19.95.
The Top 10 Regional Universities in the West
1. Trinity University (Texas)
2. Santa Clara University (CA)
3. Loyola Marymount University (CA)
4. Gonzaga University (WA)
4. Mills College (CA)
6. Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo
6. Seattle University (WA)
8. Chapman University (CA)
9. University of Portland (OR)
9. University of Redlands (CA)
9. Whitworth University (WA)