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U.S. News Gives College High Marks for Academics & Value in 2018 Rankings

Posted: September 12, 2017

In the newly released 2018 edition of its Best Colleges guideU.S. News & World Report places Thomas Aquinas College in the top third of the top tier of all American liberal arts colleges, one of only two Catholic colleges to rank so highly. The guide also praises the College’s financial aid program, listing the school as No. 30 among the Top 40 national liberal arts colleges on its Best Values list  and No. 5 among national liberal arts colleges for “Least Debt” at graduation — the only Catholic school in the United States to make either list.

U.S. News & World ReportIn discussing the basis for these rankings, U.S. News explains that they are based on 15 factors “related to academic excellence, such as graduation rates and faculty resources.” The magazine’s rating formula “puts an emphasis on outcomes, evidenced by measures of graduation and retention being the most heavily weighted factors.” Moreover, in naming colleges to its “Best Values” list, U.S. News considers “only universities and colleges that finished in the top half of their ranking categories,” because “the best values are found among colleges that are above average academically.” The guide additionally, tranks Thomas Aquinas College first in the country for the highest proportion of classes under 20 students (100 percent) and the lowest proportion of classes with more than 50 students (0 percent). 

Says Thomas Aquinas College Director of Admissions Jon Daly, “Rankings tell part of the story, and we were certainly pleased with these from U.S. News. They point not only to the strength of the academic program — in terms of quality and class size — but also, importantly, to the reasonable tuition, room & board costs, and the strength and generosity of our need-based financial aid program. In these difficult economic times both students and parents need to be sure the investment they make in a college education is worthwhile. We are pleased to see that our college compares so favorably in the U.S. News rankings.”

The College has received high marks in the newest editions of all the top annual college guides, both Catholic and secular, including The Princeton Review, WhatWillTheyLearn.comKiplinger, and the National Catholic Register.

“Taken together with this report from U.S. News, these reviews offer parents and prospective students a fairly good idea of the strength of our unique program,” says Mr. Daly.  “But a visit to the campus will also afford them the opportunity to observe our classes firsthand and to experience the joy students take in pursuing their studies in and outside of class.”

Adds President Michael F. McLean, “This year’s review from U.S. News, and the many others that rank Thomas Aquinas College highly, are strong indicators that an institution of higher learning can provide an excellent academic program at a competitive price while being fully faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church.”

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Tim Cantu (’10)

“Thomas Aquinas College was outstanding preparation for my future career. The great books curriculum hones critical-thinking and problem-solving skills that are absolutely essential every day in law school and as an attorney. To receive this education while also attending a school with a deep and profound Catholic culture was the most valuable college experience I could have had.”

– Tim Cantu (’10)

Attorney, Pepple Cantu Schmidt

“Thomas Aquinas College is uniquely positioned and equipped to let light shine once more in our world, in our society, in our communities, in our families, in our relationships.”

– Most Rev. Paul S. Coakley, S.T.L., D.D.

Archbishop of Oklahoma City

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