DUBUQUE, Iowa — Loras College has been named the 16th Best Regional College in the Midwest – a 12-state region – according to the 2020 U.S. News Best Colleges rankings released Monday. Loras also ranked eleventh in Best Value and was one of three schools in Iowa to make the Best Undergraduate Engineering Program list.
The 2020 U.S News ranking includes data on nearly 1,921 colleges and universities. Eligible schools are ranked on academic excellence, including assessment of excellence, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving. Unlike most other publication rankings, U.S. News doesn’t require institutions to complete a survey, invest in advertising or pay fees to be part of the listing.
“As always, Loras is delighted to be ranked among the best of our peers in this year’s US News Rankings. It underscores the strong educational and outcome based results our staff and faculty produce. That said, rankings are but one of many considerations families ought to consider when selecting a College,” said Loras President Jim Collins (’84).
Some of that criteria, he said, includes – peer academic assessment; percentage of faculty with a Ph.D. with or terminal degree, 95 percent at Loras; and graduate outcomes. For instance, 98.4 percent of Loras’ 2018 graduates found employment or continued their education within one year of graduation. Unlike most institutions, Loras calculates its percentage by including all graduates and not just those who complete a survey.
The Regional Colleges category includes schools that focus almost entirely on the undergraduate experience and offer a broad range of programs in the liberal arts and in fields such as business and education.
The U.S. News rankings also reiterated Loras’ financial commitment to its students. Of the regional colleges in Iowa on the list, it had the lowest percentage of graduating students who required loans to pay for their education. Thanks to the generous scholarship and financial aid packages, Loras students also saw an average reduction of $22,145 in the cost of attending the College.
The U.S. News Best Value ranking, with Loras ranking eleventh, calculates a school’s academic quality based on its Best College ranking and the 2018-2019 net cost of attendance for a student who received the average level of need-based financial aid. The higher the quality of the program and the lower the cost, the better the ranking.
Donna Heald, vice president of academic affairs, said, “Our position in the rankings provides an excellent endorsement of the high quality education that Loras students receive from their experiences in and out of the classroom. We are grateful for the exceptional work of our dedicated faculty and staff who work students on a daily basis to achieve outstanding outcomes.”
About Loras College
Founded in 1839, Loras College leverages its historic roots as Iowa’s first college, the second oldest Catholic college west of the Mississippi River and one of the nation’s 10 diocesan colleges to deliver challenging, life-changing experiences as part of its residential, Catholic setting. In 2019, Loras was the second-highest ranked Catholic college in the state of Iowa according to College Consensus, the 13th Best Regional College in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report and one of America’s Top 200 Most Loved Colleges/Universities by Forbes Magazine for the third consecutive year. Loras students ranked No. 2 in the world as part of the global Peeptrade Investment Challenge while a second group ranked No. 4. For the 10th consecutive year, Loras Media Studies student-led television station (LCTV) was named the TV Station of the Year by the Iowa College Media Association (ICMA).
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