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October 2011

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National rankings continue to reflect St. Norbert’s widening reputation

Recently released rankings show once again that St. Norbert College is one of “America’s Best National Liberal Arts Colleges.” St. Norbert now ranks among the country’s top Catholic liberal arts colleges in the 2012 U.S. News and World Report’s listings, nudging out St. Anselm College for ninth place.

The rankings see St. Norbert holding steady at number 127 among all the institutions on the list of best national liberal arts colleges. The college has improved its overall score on that list by three points, to 51.

Several factors help account for the college’s ranking. Its freshman retention rate is 83 percent; its graduation rate (77 percent) exceeds by 10 percent the predicted rate (67 percent) based on the college’s student body; and 87 percent of the faculty are full-time. Peer assessment, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving are other critical factors.  

For 18 years, U.S. News & World Report ranked St. Norbert among the top comprehensive colleges in the Midwest. This is the fifth year the college has been included among the nation’s best liberal arts colleges. The change followed St. Norbert’s reclassification in 2006 by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching – an independent policy and research center that partners with U.S. News & World Report for its rankings. The college’s repeat at number 127 comes a year after a 14-place leap from number 141.

 “St. Norbert College is delighted and gratified to be highly ranked again this year,” said President Tom Kunkel. “This recognizes the momentum we have in building the student experience. The rankings come at a time when we have the largest student body in our history – with the best academic profile in history. U.S. News once again recognizes our pursuit of excellence.

“We appreciate this recognition and are proud to be among the nation’s best liberal arts colleges. To be among the top nine Catholic liberal arts colleges is even more gratifying as we work to further fulfill our mission.”

U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” guide can be found online at The guidebook hit newsstands Sept. 20.

Building success in national rankings
St. Norbert was recently ranked among the best colleges and universities in the country by, also. The magazine’s fourth annual list ranks more than 600 schools in the country. St. Norbert College jumped 68 spots to number 84 among all colleges and universities in the nation.

Forbes examined a number of criteria in determining its rankings, including the amount of enjoyment students get out of their classes; students’ success after graduation; the amount of debt incurred while in school; and success of students in distinguishing themselves academically.

To view the complete rankings and learn more about the methodology, go to

St. Norbert College was also listed as a 2012 “Best in the Midwest” college by Princeton Review. The Princeton Review explains the criteria for each rating score on its site at

Oct. 4, 2011

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