Skidmore College ranked highly by U.S. News and World Report ad by Newsweek

Skidmore College once again placed high on U.S. News and World Report’s Best Colleges list, earning #43 in the National Liberal Art Colleges category for 2013. Also, Newsweek magazine included the school among the 20 “happiest” colleges in the country in its 2012 College Rankings.

On the Best Colleges list, Skidmore ranked well for its diverse course offerings, student-faculty ratio, freshman retention rate, and study abroad programs, among other features. Here are the numbers: According to the report, Skidmore has a total undergraduate enrollment of 2,689 with a student-faculty ratio of 9:1. In 68.9 percent of its classes, the school has fewer than 20 students. Undergrads come from 40 countries and 40 states, and learn from a faculty of 250 dedicated teacher-scholars. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 94.2 percent. The four-year graduation rate is 82 percent.

"This is the season for rankings, and students receive a lot of data in the mail,” Andrea Wise, director of media relations at Skidmore’s Office of Communication. “Certainly, the lists serve an informational purpose. However, we always tell prospective students to come to campus and get personal opinions here, from the students and teachers. Visitors can sit in on a class, speak with the admissions officer, and see the financial aid staff. All this helps develop an informed choice.”

Newsweek magazine calls the happiest students those who got what they expected from their college of choice. Relatively immune to transfers and dropouts, the happiest schools also scored high marks for student satisfaction with the overall college experience. If given the choice, the most contented students would attend the same college.

Student opinion data was taken from Newsweek’s college ranking partner, College Prowler, and retention rate is according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Skidmore College had a full-time retention rate of 95 percent, and 88 percent of the Skidmore students said they would choose the same school if they had it to do all over again, the story said.

Independent, coeducational Skidmore, founded in 1903, is known for its creative approach to education. The college offers majors in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities, as well as in career-specific fields such as management and business, social work, education, and exercise science. Performing and visual arts programs have long set Skidmore apart. 

“Prospective students today are more informed,” Wise said. “They have a clear sense of what they want to do. They’re more informed consumers and informed decision-makers.”

U.S. News and World Report gathers data from and about each school in 16 areas related to academic excellence. Each indicator is assigned a weight expressed as a percentage, based on the magazine’s judgments about which measures of quality matter most. The colleges are then ranked on their composite weighted score. U.S. News publishes the numeric rank of approximately the top three-fourths of schools in each of 10 categories.

The college field has expressed concern about the Best Colleges methodology, Wise said.

Skidmore College’s tuition and fees for 2012-13 are $44,020. Room and board are $11,744. At the school, 46.9 percent of full-time undergraduates receive some need-based financial aid, and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $31,789.

The U.S. News report calls Skidmore “more selective,” with an acceptance rate of 42.1 percent.



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Monday, March 18, 2013 2:53:00 AM 

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