(SANTA PAULA, Calif.) -August 18, 2010- Each year at this time, U.S. News & World Report publishes a college guide. In America's Best Colleges 2010, Thomas Aquinas College is once again ranked in the top tier among the nation's liberal arts colleges, which concentrate mainly on undergraduate education. The Catholic college, founded by laymen in 1971, is ranked #71 out of 183 schools in the first of four tiers ranking the nations liberal arts schools. With this ranking, the college is in third place for all Catholic liberal arts colleges in the country, after College of the Holy Cross and St. John's University (MN).
Thomas Aquinas College was also ranked first in the country in the category of "Highest Proportion of Classes under 20 Students," in recognition of the fact that 100% of its classes have fewer than 20 students. Moreover, the college was ranked by U.S. News as #18 for "Least Debt" under the "Debt Load" category for the relatively low debt that its graduates incur in the course of four years at the school. In another important and well-noted category, "Great Schools, Great Prices," Thomas Aquinas College is ranked in the Top 40 in the country.
Jonathan Daly, director of admissions, commented on the U.S. News' rankings, saying, "I am pleased to see U.S. News recognize Thomas Aquinas College in these four categories, in particular. The college does indeed offer an excellent education, and one of the most important factors in that is the strong relationship between our faculty members and students: they know each other because all of our classes are small (15- 17 students) and conducted using the Socratic method. That such an education is offered at a great price and with little debt load upon graduation can only be a source of peace for parents and joy for students."
Orientation for freshmen at the 4-year, co-educational school begins on August 19. Returning students will arrive throughout the weekend from across the United States and from countries as diverse as Argentina, Australia, Ireland, and Canada. On August 23, the college will hold its annual convocation day, beginning with a Mass of the Holy Spirit in the school's new Chapel of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, to be offered by Bishop Edward J. Slattery of Tulsa, Okla. A formal matriculation ceremony will follow in the St. Joseph Commons at which new faculty member Dr. Chris Oleson will take the oath of fidelity. One hundred three freshmen are then expected to sign the College's official registry. Classes will commence on Monday evening, August 23.