Ambrose gets high marks

Saying St. Ambrose is one of the best colleges in the Midwest might sound a little biased coming from a student, faculty or staff member, but it’s true. In fact, the U.S. News and World Report says St. Ambrose is the 30th best school in the Midwest.

Beating out hundreds of other universities in 12 Midwestern states, St. Ambrose placed above Western Illinois University and other well-known schools.

The U.S. News and World Report presents a list of the top schools every year based on freshman retention, graduation rates, ACT scores and similar qualities. In 2012, St. Ambrose was ranked 40th.

“Normally, schools will move up or down one or two places,” Vice president of enrollment John Cooper said.

While Cooper is happy with the news, he isn’t reading too much into it.

“St. Ambrose takes a real balanced approach to U.S. News and World Report,” he said. “The things U.S. News and World Report look at in terms of ranking schools; most of the criteria are things we’re already concerned about and would be concerned about even if we weren’t being ranked on it.”

The Princeton Review is another publication that rates schools, and it named St. Ambrose one of the “Best in the Midwest,” naming Ambrose as an “A” school for “B” students,” Cooper said.

While the university has grown significantly in the last several years, it’s only benefited Ambrose as far as rankings go. Average ACT scores, freshman retention and graduation rates have all gone up. Acceptance rates have gone down, making St. Ambrose more exclusive.

Cooper says everyone at St. Ambrose has helped make this honor possible. Students have worked hard to keep grades up and stay at St. Ambrose, and faculty and staff have made it a place students want to be.

As Ambrose continues to grow, it may continue to climb the ladder on the ranking list.

For more information and to see how other colleges and universities ranked, visit http://www.usnews.com and http://www.princetonreview.com

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