Middlebury College Ranked Eighth in US News
Survey: College 18th among “Best College

In its 11th annual “America’s Best
Colleges” issue, US News names Middlebury College
as eighth in overall quality among the nation’s national liberal
arts colleges. The national news magazine’s college rankings are
derived from information collected annually from surveys sent
to a total of 1400 four-year schools. The 1998 rankings are based
on data for the 1996-1997 school year.

Commenting on Middlebury’s US News ranking,
President John M. McCardell, Jr. said, “There is legitimate
commentary that questions the ability of any survey to evaluate
the quality of an institution with the precision that US News
would seem to claim. The editors of US News, however, do
make a sincere attempt to base their rankings on the best information
they can obtain.” McCardell said the survey helps to give
the college a general picture of how well it is doing in relation
to other institutions in the country. “We are gratified to
find that what we at Middlebury already know about the high quality
of this college is borne out by an analysis of the data collected
by US News,” he said.

Middlebury demonstrated particular strength in the
survey’s evaluation of admissions selectivity. Middlebury’s acceptance
of 29 percent of its applicants places it among the most selective
colleges in this category. Only Amherst and Williams among national
liberal arts colleges showed greater admissions selectivity.

President McCardell, noting the importance of admissions
selectivity as an indication of quality, said that Middlebury’s
showing in this respect placed it ahead of the highest-ranked
institution in the category, Swarthmore, which accepted 30 percent
of its applicants. “This ranking, based upon facts and not
opinions, tells me all I need to know about the College’s reputation
in the area that matters most, namely, the line at the Admissions
Office,” McCardell said. The magazine’s data also show that
Middlebury’s SAT score ranges placed it among the top four liberal
arts colleges in the country in that category.

Middlebury is also listed by US News as one
of only 21 institutions that enroll significant numbers of international
students. Middlebury is shown as having an international student
population that constitutes eight percent of the total student

On September 8, US News will publish a ranking
of “best college values,” which considers an institution’s
quality ranking in the “Best Colleges” issue in relation
to the impact of its tuition on students receiving financial aid
grants. According to Middlebury College director of public affairs
Phil Benoit, Middlebury’s rank of 18th on the “best
values” list demonstrates the generous size of the college’s
financial aid grants and indicates that US News considers
the college to be worth the money it costs to attend. “Many
schools like Middlebury do not even make this list,” Benoit
said. “Middlebury overcomes the impact of its relatively
high tuition, which keeps some similar institutions off the list,
by the combination of its overall quality and the generosity of
the financial aid grants it awards to students who can’t pay the
full cost of attending,” he said.