CSB, SJU both rated highly in annual rankings by national publications

Sports produce team rankings of all sorts. Why not rank colleges and the academic programs they offer?

Three media organizations – Washington Monthly, U.S. News and World Report and the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education - have recently released their evaluations of college performances in the form of rankings.

Washington Monthly ranked the College of Saint Benedict No. 29 and Saint John’s University No. 50 among 214 national liberal arts colleges. Both schools’ improved their rankings from 2018 – CSB by one spot and SJU by two places.

They were the second (CSB) and fourth (SJU) ranked liberal arts schools in Minnesota. Carleton was ranked No. 24 and Macalester No. 36.

Washington Monthly rated schools that award almost exclusively bachelor’s degrees and that focus on arts and sciences rather than professional programs—based on their contribution to the public good in three broad categories: social mobility, research and promoting public service.

The publication also offered a “Best Bang for the Bucks – Midwest” category, with CSB ranking No. 10 and SJU No. 37. CSB is ranked No. 1 and SJU No. 3 among liberal arts schools in Minnesota in this category, which is a listing of 372 schools in the Midwest that help non-wealthy students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices.

In the 35th annual U.S. News and World Report rankings, which were released Sep. 9, CSB is ranked No. 82 and SJU is ranked No. 92. Again, both schools moved up several spots from the magazine’s ratings last year, with CSB moving up four spots and SJU three spots.

Criteria for the rankings include graduation and retention rates; undergraduate academic rates among counselors and peers; faculty resources; student excellence; financial resources; and alumnae/i giving.

Additionally, both CSB and SJU were included on the magazine’s “A+ Schools for B Students.”

Finally, CSB ranked No. 242 and SJU ranked No. 253 in the 2020 Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education (WSJ/THE) College Rankings (please note: this is a password protected site). Both private and public schools were ranked individually by position Nos. 1-400, followed by three groupings (schools ranked Nos. 401-500, 501-600 and over 600).

The WSJ/THE rankings emphasize how well a college will prepare students for life after graduation. The overall ranking is based on 15 factors across four main categories: 40% of each school’s overall score comes from student outcomes, including measures of graduate salaries and debt burdens, 30% from the school’s academic resources, 20% from how well it engages its students and 10% from its diversity.