Magazine Gives EMU National Ranking

“U.S. News & World Report” magazine has given Eastern Mennonite University a national ranking for the fifth year in a row in its “America’s Best Colleges” issue for 2006.

Many of the rankings and some articles from the “America’s Best Colleges” guidebook will appear in the Aug. 30 weekly issue of “U.S. News & World Report” that will reach newstands Aug. 22. The annual guidebook will also go on sale the same day.

The Carnegie Commission defines a national liberal arts school as one emphasizing undergraduate education and awarding at least 50 percent of its degrees in the liberal arts disciplines. There were 215 schools measured in the “national liberal arts-bachelor’s” category in which EMU has been ranked; most are private institutions.

Each college and university received a score based on six indicators – peer assess ment, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity and alumni giving.

Within its tier of over 50 colleges and universities, EMU ranked high with a 2005 freshman retention rate of 78 percent, well above the national average. An alumni giving rate of 33 percent is also well above the average for schools in the fourth tier.

“We’re ranked about where we expected to be,” said Shirley B. Yoder, vice president for enrollment and marketing.

“EMU made a strategic decision in 2004 to focus on under-served groups in our own community and throughout Virginia,” Yoder said. “We were highly successful in reaching that goal with 22 percent of our new traditional undergraduate students coming from under-served groups from within our country.

“Although students may find some help in comparing schools through rankings such as these, a campus visit will likely be much more important for evaluating a student’s fit with a particular school,” Yoder added.

All 2006 rankings are available on the magazine’s website at