Chestertown, MD, August 20, 2004 — As Washington College welcomes its most selective class in the institution's history, the College has climbed from 97th to 89th place in the 2005 U. S. News & World Report America's Best Colleges rankings, making it Maryland's top private college in the “Best Liberal Arts Colleges” category and one of the Top 110 Best Liberal Arts Colleges nationwide. The 2005 edition of America's Best Colleges will be available on newsstands August 24.
“We are very proud of our position in the rankings and the dedication of our faculty and staff whose hard work has helped us to achieve such distinction,” said Dr. Baird Tipson, President of the College. “Nor can we forget our students and alumni whose academic achievements are reflected in our climbing ranking score.”
Published since 1983, the U.S. News ranking system relies on quantitative measures that education experts have proposed as reliable indicators of academic quality. Data for 15 indicators of academic excellence is gathered on an annual basis; each factor is assigned a weight that reflects U. S. News' judgement about how much a measure matters. Indicators include a peer assessment survey of like institutions, student retention numbers, faculty resources and class size, selectivity in admissions, financial resources, graduation rate performance and the percentage of alumni who donate to their college.
“To achieve such a position in the rankings is certainly a point of pride for Washington College,” said Dr. Tipson. “But I like to emphasize to college-bound students and their parents that the annual U. S. News rankings are only one tool among many that students can use to research and select the institution that is best for them. They need to consider factors such as hands-on learning opportunities, faculty and departmental specializations, teaching excellence and student outcomes—derived from sources such as campus visits and one-on-one meetings with current students and faculty. These are the best indicators of how well a college measures up to its mission and will meet the needs of its students.”
Washington College is a private, independent liberal arts and sciences college located in historic Chestertown on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Founded in 1782 under the patronage of George Washington, it is the first college chartered in the new nation.