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Rankings recognize Augustana for efficiency

December  23, 2013

Small but mighty. These three words summarize Augustana College and a recent fourth-place ranking on a new report that positions national liberal arts colleges for their efficiency.

On Dec. 19, Robert Morse, director of data research for U.S. News & World Report, released a report that ranked institutions of higher education that were able to produce the highest educational quality, as determined by their place in the 2014 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, Morse 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.”

These rankings validate 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, “It is important for students and their families to be concerned with a college’s efficiency. Highly ranked colleges that are efficient direct their resources to creating a great student learning experience at a price families can afford.”

Provost Dr. Pareena Lawrence explained, “We continually strive for improving the educational outcomes, experiences and opportunities for all our students and simultaneously manage our costs, so that we can stay affordable and provide our students with the most impactful and effective education when it comes to their learning, growth and development.”

Dr. Lawrence continued, “At Augustana, we allocate our resources judiciously to generate the highest possible quality of education given our mission, our heritage and our capacity as a mid-sized college of the liberal arts and sciences.”

Executive Vice President Kent Barnds explained, “Many families, when considering a college, look for evidence of a great return on investment and this particular ranking demonstrates that Augustana invests in the right things to get great results for our students. As we finalize plans for a new strategic plan, with affordability as one of three main focuses, it’s great to have our efforts affirmed.”

To determine the efficiency ranking, U.S. News utilized the college’s 2012 fiscal year financial resources per student divided by its overall score in the U.S. News 2014 Best Colleges 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; Cornell College in Iowa, third place; Westminster College in Pennsylvania, fifth place; St. Olaf College in Minnesota, sixth place; and Luther College in Iowa, seventh place.

Sam Schlouch
Senior Communication Director
(309) 794-7833