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Six Straight: DePauw Again in Top Tier of US News & World Report's 'Best Colleges'

August 19, 2005

Also: DePauw Among America's 45 "Best Values"; Top Tier Ranking Gets TV Coverage

2006 us news best colleges.gifAugust 19, 2005, Greencastle, Ind. - U.S. News & World Report is out with its 2006 look at "America's Best Colleges," and for a sixth consecutive year DePauw University is ranked in the top tier of national liberal arts colleges. DePauw is ranked 49th -- in a two-way tie for that position with Sarah Lawrence College (New York) -- and is again the highest-ranked school of its kind in the state of Indiana. The magazine ranks a total of 215 liberal arts colleges on statistical measures such as student SAT scores, graduation rates and institutional resources, as well as a subjective measure of academic reputation.

The U.S. News 2006 report is based on 2004 data. DePauw made gains in its freshman retention rate (92% versus 91% in last year's analysis); 94% of the faculty members were full-time, equaling last year's record-best percentage for DePauw; and its peer assessment score remained unchanged at 3.4. But the University's rankings declined in areas such as faculty resources (37 East College 2005 2.jpgvs. 34), financial resources (55 vs. 53), alumni giving (98 vs. 81) and the percentage of alumni who contribute financially (33% vs. 35%).

"For those who believe that DePauw has all the resources it will ever need, this report should serve as a wake-up call," says Robert G. Bottoms, DePauw's 18th president. "We have come a long way, significantly expanding our first-rate faculty and rebuilding the campus. But other colleges and universities are also improving, and this is a very competitive environment. All of us must work harder to ensure that DePauw's needs -- for today and the future -- are met. Increasing our resources will be a continuing priority, and we will rely upon our loyal alumni to help us meet the challenge."

U.S. News ranks Williams College (Massachusetts) as the #1 national liberal arts college in the 2006 guide, which hits newsstands on Monday. Amherst College (Mass.) is second.movein2004-7.jpg

On Saturday, DePauw will welcome 617 new students to campus (read more here). "There is a tremendous upside to being in the top tier in the U.S. News survey," says Stefanie Niles, dean of admission at DePauw. "It is just one source that students and parents consider as they evaluate colleges, but for many, it is a way to narrow the list of potential schools and the guide may bring some of the best-ranked colleges and universities to the attention of students for the first time. Since DePauw first appeared in the top tier in 2000, applications have increased and we've been able to attract students who are increasingly strong academically and involved in extracurricular activities and community service. It's been very good for the University." 

The generosity of DePauw alumni allows the Faculty Student Interaction 3.jpgUniversity to offer outstanding scholars and students with financial needs extremely attractive scholarships; in fact, 92% of DePauw students receive some form of financial aid. Over the past six years, the number of full-time faculty has increased from 160 to 231. Alumni gifts have also made possible the new and renovated buildings that DePauw has opened in recent years, including the Percy Lavon Julian Science and Mathematics Center, Rector Village, the indoor tennis and track center, and Peeler Art Center.

When students return to campus this weekend, they'll be greeted by the William Weston Clarke Emison Museum of Art, where a renovation and expansion project is wrapping up. At the 481-acre DePauw Nature Park, which was dedicated last September, two buildings are nearing completion. Work on the Manning Environmental Field Station,Emison Museum Aug 2005.jpg a building to support laboratory field science and field research, will be finished this month. Some field biology laboratories will be taught in the lab building beginning this semester. The Rolland Welcome and Activities Center will open in October. It will house the park ranger staff and host group orientation and project activities.

The top-tier ranking by U.S. News is one of a number of external validations that DePauw has received in recent months. The just-released Fiske Guide To Colleges 2006 ranks the University as one of 45 "best values." The Princeton Review's annual publication, The Best 357 Colleges: 2005 Edition, also gives DePauw high marks for its academics and social scene, as do the 2005 edition of the Unofficial, Unbiased Guide to the 331 Most Interesting Colleges and College Prowler's new guide to DePauw University. The National Survey of Student Engagement finds that studentsfiske guide 2006.jpg at DePauw University enjoy significantly more academic challenges, interactions with faculty, collaborations with others and enriching educational experiences than students at peer institutions and the nationalaverage at all colleges and universities.

Prospective students who would like more information on DePauw University, including access to an online application form, can click here. Alumni who wish to give to the Annual Fund can learn more here.

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