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UMW in top tier of U.S. News & World Report college rankings

UMW News Bureau

U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges 2010 magazine coverA just-released national college survey demonstrates that the University of Montana Western continues to enhance its reputation nationally, giving the college plenty to be proud of going into its 116th year.

 U.S. News & World Report’s 2010 edition of “America’s Best Colleges” ranked Montana Western in its top tier of western baccalaureate colleges. The university jumped to 18th place in the academically coveted top tier from its third-tier position in 2009. The western region contains 15 states including California, Washington, Oregon, Colorado and Texas.

The best-selling publication defines baccalaureate colleges as institutions that “focus on undergraduate education and offer a range of degree programs in the liberal arts, which account for fewer than half of their bachelor’s degrees, and in professional fields such as business, nursing, and education.”

Of particular note are Montana Western’s individual statistics within the ranking. The university led the pack in average alumni giving rates at 19 percent. The average freshman retention rate for Montana Western is 65 percent, 13th among the top tier western baccalaureate colleges, which include military and seminary schools. Montana Western tied for seventh place for the lowest student/faculty ratio (15 students per professor).

“This is an extremely positive reflection on our university,” Montana Western Chancellor Richard Storey said of the ranking. “In an increasingly challenging and competitive academic environment, Montana Western’s continual innovation and growth is a glowing example of what can be done. It speaks very loudly of our Experience One program as well as the caliber of our students and professors. We can be very proud of this -- students, faculty, staff and our supportive community.”

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