Westminster College has been ranked among the top five percent of the “Best Colleges for the Money for 2017” among all American colleges and universities, according to national rankings released today.
College Factual, a data driven national education firm in partnership with USA Today, named Westminster 50th out of all 1,215 colleges and universities ranked for their academic excellence and economic value.
“We are very pleased that such a prestigious ranking organization is telling prospective students and their parents what we have always known: that Westminster students here in Fulton, Missouri, receive one of the highest valued educations in the country,” said Westminster President Dr. Benjamin Ola. Akande.
Academic excellence in the College Factual ranking system is determined by a school’s graduation and retention rates, student loan default rate and early and mid-career earnings of its graduates.
The graduation rate for Westminster has averaged 67% for the past five years. This compares with a national average of 59%. Westminster’s retention rate is 83% and three-year student loan default rate 10.1% as compared to the national average of 11.8%.
As far as salaries go, the federal government calculates salaries 10 years after graduation and Westminster’s average graduate salary is $41,500 as compared with the national average of $34,300.
The affordability of each college and university for their ranking purposes is determined by a formula that considers total cost to attend and the average length of time it takes students to graduate.
Some colleges that might appear to be inexpensive initially might not be a good value, for example, if students spend six years completing a four-year college degree. Approximately 50% of all Westminster students graduate in four years.
The average national four-year graduation rate for all colleges and universities is 39%.
Westminster also ranked high in comparison to other colleges and universities in a number of subject areas.
The school placed in the top 1% among the most focused schools on romance languages and the top 5% for schools that were most focused on biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology, and foreign languages and linguistics.
Westminster programs ranking in the top 10% of all schools include international business, teacher education and development, English language and literature, international studies, philosophy and religious studies, and political science and government.