Campus News

Bowdoin #6 in Latest U.S. News Rankings

Story posted August 19, 2005

For the second year in a row, Bowdoin College has risen in the college rankings published annually by U.S. News & World Report. Bowdoin is ranked 6th (with Pomona College) among "Best Liberal Arts Colleges" in the latest rankings released by the magazine on Friday, August 19.

Last year, Bowdoin was tied with Davidson College for 7th in the rankings. Two years ago, Bowdoin was 10th among liberal arts colleges.

Bowdoin is also included among the "top ten" liberal arts colleges for "lowest acceptance rate" and greatest "economic diversity."

The rankings consider a variety of factors, including peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, class size, faculty compensation, student/faculty ratios, admissions selectivity, class rank, financial resources, and alumni giving, among others.

The following colleges are ranked #1 through #21 by U.S. News:

1. Williams
2. Amherst
3. Swarthmore
4. Wellesley
5. Carleton
6. BOWDOIN, Pomona
8. Haverford, Middlebury
10. Claremont McKenna, Davidson
12. Wesleyan
13. Vassar
14. Washington and Lee
15. Colgate, Grinnell, Hamilton
18. Harvey Mudd
19. Smith
20. Colby
21. Bates, Bryn Mawr

Bowdoin's "peer assessment," the only subjective element in the rankings -- but the most important category (accounting for 25% of the overall score) -- improved from 4.3 last year (out of a possible 5.0) to 4.4 in the newest rankings. Only Williams and Amherst (with a 4.7 score) and Swarthmore and Wellesley (with scores of 4.6) ranked higher in this category than Bowdoin.

Bowdoin is also listed in the magazine as 7th among the "top ten" for "Lowest Acceptance Rate," and 9th among our peers for "Economic Diversity," a new category added this year by the magazine. Bowdoin is also included on a list titled "Great Schools, Great Prices," having improved its place on this particular list from 15th last year to 11th in the current issue. This particular list provides data about the percentage of students receiving need-based aid; the average cost of attendance after receiving need-based grants; and the average "discount" for aid recipients from the total cost.

The rankings appear on the U.S. News & World Report Web site ( and will be available on newsstands beginning Monday, August 22.

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