Thomas Aquinas College is one of the most popular liberal arts colleges  in the United States, according to the latest rankings from U.S. News & World Report. In its survey of College enrollment for the 2013-14 academic year, the newsweekly found that 63.2 percent of the applicants admitted to the College go on to enroll as freshmen in the fall — the ninth highest “yield” rate in the country. Only 12 of the 223 liberal arts colleges that submitted yield data to U.S. News had a rate higher than 50 percent.
“Yield,” the editors have observed in past rankings, is “one of the best indicators of a school’s popularity among students,” testifying to a college’s desirability among applicants. Thomas Aquinas College is the only Catholic institution to make the Top 10 list of the purportedly “most popular” liberal-arts colleges.
This high rate, says Thomas Aquinas College Director of Admissions Jon Daly, is evidence that the College's unique program of Catholic liberal education  has broad appeal. “The decision about where to spend the next four years of their lives is one that most students do not make lightly,” he says. “That a large majority of our admitted applicants choose to come here shows a real commitment on their part to classical education taught under the light of faith.” The College’s ability to attract and admit students who are a good fit for its program is borne out by its retention rate . Some 86 percent of Thomas Aquinas College freshmen return as sophomores (compared to 75 percent nationwide ).
“What no doubt helps with our yield rate,” adds Mr. Daly, “is that roughly half of our incoming freshmen have participated in our High School Summer Program . Having experienced the life of the College firsthand, they know that this is what they want. They are eager to enroll, and once they get here, even more eager to see their way through the four-year program.”