St. Thomas is two spots higher in the 2013 U.S. News and World Report’s annual survey of America’s best colleges than last year.
The magazine placed St. Thomas at No. 113 in its most recent ratings, released at midnight, Sept. 11. In 2012, the University ranked 115.
Doug Hennes, the vice president for university and government relations, described the increase as a “modest move.”
“This is the third straight year that St. Thomas has seen an increase. We went from 137 in 2010 to 124 in 2011, to 115 in 2012. We now stand at 113,” Hennes said.
Some students said that the increase in rankings makes sense and is well-deserved.
“We have a lot of new facilities, and I think we have a pretty good success rate,” freshman Stephen Legatt said.
Sophomore Kirsten Hunt agreed.
“Obviously they have made a lot of improvements to the campus, but academic-wise I think there are a lot of opportunities for students to take advantage of, and I feel like at this school students do take advantage of those things,” Hunt said.
The rankings are based on seven aspects: undergraduate academic reputation (22.5 percent), graduation and retention rates (20 percent), faculty resources (20 percent), student selectivity (15 percent), financial resources (10 percent), graduation rate performances (7.5 percent), and alumni giving (5 percent).
Hennes said that because there are a lot of variables that go into determining the ranks, they can be unpredictable.
“It’s hard to judge because everybody is ranked on the same measures,” Hennes said.
For students, these rankings can sometimes determine whether or not to attend a college. Hunt said her decision to attend St. Thomas was heavily based on such rankings.
“I didn’t want to attend a college that wasn’t thought of in high regards,” Hunt said. “St. Thomas was high enough on (the rankings list) because it was a well-known college and people who graduate from here go on to be successful.”
To Hennes, any increase in national rank is not a main priority.
“Our decisions [in how we run our school] have never been committed to rankings, but to the quality of the UST education,” Hennes said.
In the national university category, among other Catholic universities, Georgetown and Notre Dame landed in the top 25. Among the other MIAC schools, Carleton was listed in the top 10 national liberal arts colleges.
Gabrielle Martinson and Kayla Bengtson contributed to this story.