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McDaniel improves in U.S. News & World Report rankings

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McDaniel College improved its ranking from 2013 in the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges 2014 Rankings released Tuesday.

McDaniel was ranked in an eight-way tie for 126th out of 250 National Liberal Arts Colleges, which are schools that award at least half of their degrees in liberal arts fields of study.

Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., ranked first in the category. McDaniel ranked 140th in the U.S. News & World Report rankings last year.

The U.S. News & World Report rankings are compiled through scoring indicators of college excellence, such as freshman retention rate, graduation rates, and the strength of the faculty. Each category is given a weight, representing how much each measure matters in the eyes of U.S News & World Report.

McDaniel was again named an "A-Plus School for B Students," which lists schools with strong ratings in the 2014 report that also have high freshman retention rates.

The college has been listed in this section of the report for three of the past four years, according to college spokeswoman Cheryl Knauer.

McDaniel has a freshman retention rate of 81.8 percent, Knauer said.

McDaniel has also recently been ranked strongly by other college ranking reports.

The college was named a "Best-Bang-for-the-Buck" by Washington Monthly in August, which ranks the economic value students receive per dollar spent on a college education.

McDaniel has also been included for the first time among The Princeton Review’s “Best in the Northeast”
and was the only Maryland liberal arts college named a “Best Value” by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, according to a news release from the college.

McDaniel College President Roger Casey said the recognition the college has received from different rankings "reflects the college's increasing national prominence and solidifies McDaniel as one of the nation's top liberal arts colleges."

"We certainly appreciate the visibility that these accolades bring to the institution," Casey said. "Our campus is now populated with diverse students from throughout the United States and globally who first learned of McDaniel from these rankings and guidebooks."

McDaniel's tuition is $36,960 per semester plus $8,640 for room and board, but the average cost for students is lower with 73 percent of students receiving scholarships and grants from the college. The average need-based scholarship or grant award is $23,284, according to Knauer.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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