Hobart and William Smith Colleges were recently ranked #16 in Money magazine’s list of the nation’s best liberal arts colleges.
The list, which highlights the 50 “leading schools for a traditional undergraduate education,” also named HWS one of only three institutions to earn a “Value-Added Grade” in the A’s. The grade is awarded based on “how well a school’s students perform, vs. expectations for students with similar economic and academic backgrounds (measured by graduation rates, student loan defaults and post-grad earnings).”
The “50 Best Liberal Arts Colleges” ranking, which features HWS among peer institutions such as Williams College, Amherst College and Bucknell University, arrives in conjunction with Money’s second annual “Best Colleges” list that measures the overall top colleges and universities based on 21 factors in three equally weighted categories: quality of education, affordability and outcomes. HWS ranks #75 out of 736 institutions on the best colleges list for 2015-16.
Money’s “Best Colleges” profile on HWS includes anonymous student feedback that touts the Colleges as a community where professors know the names of their students, students know the names of everyone in their residential building, and no building is more than a 15 minute walk away. “The best thing about Hobart and William Smith Colleges is how approachable and friendly the faculty and staff are and how as a student, you really feel as though they care a great deal about your education,” wrote a student.
The strong alum network is also noted. “Hundreds of HWS alumni have committed themselves to helping current students and future graduates find their place in the real world.” “I have been approached by fellow students and alumni/ae in many different places, even in other states!”
The selection as one of Money’s “50 Best” follows several other recent national accolades highlighting HWS as an exceptional investment, including the Colleges being named to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance list of the 100 Best College Values for 2015. Ranked among the nation’s top liberal arts colleges, HWS moved ahead 14 spots to 85 on this year’s Kiplinger list. The ranking cites four-year schools that combine outstanding academics with affordable cost.
In addition, the Colleges were named to Forbes magazine’s list of “The 50 Top ROI Colleges 2014: The Grateful Grads Index.” The index uses the dollar amount of private donations to an institution per student over a 10-year period to measure a school’s value. HWS was ranked 84 on the index, which also took into account alum participation rates, or percentage of graduates who donate to their alma mater each year, as strong indicators of return on investment. The index cited that nearly one third of HWS alums donate to the Colleges annually. Forbes also included HWS on its list of America’s Top Colleges the year prior.
Earlier this year, the Colleges were named by Princeton Review as one of only 200 colleges in the nation profiled in the new book, “Colleges That Pay You Back: The 200 Best Value Colleges and What It Takes to Get in – 2015 Edition.” Cited for outstanding academics, career preparation and generous financial aid, the Colleges’ profile states: “Students say HWS has ‘an extensive alumni network’ that helps students find work after college. They also report excellent ‘access to great internships.’ In fact, in 2014 HWS started a ‘guaranteed internship program’ where every student of ‘good academic and social standing’ who completes their Pathways Program is assured an internship or research experience.”
Last year, Princeton Review’s 2014 edition of “The Best 378 Colleges” also named HWS among the country’s best institutions for undergraduate education. The next edition arrives in August 2015. Earlier this year, HWS was included among the select institutions featured in the 2015 edition of The Princeton Review’s “Guide to 353 Green Colleges.” Now in its sixth year, the annual guide lauds colleges and universities with the most exceptional commitments to sustainability based on academic offerings and career preparation, campus policies, initiatives and activities. This is the fourth consecutive year the Colleges have been honored.
During the 2014-2015 academic year, HWS was also recognized nationally as one of only four institutions named as finalists for the President’s Award for Education Community Service in a recent Honor Roll of nearly 800 colleges and universities considered for the prestigious recognition. Over the past 13 years, the Colleges also have advanced 15 spots in the U.S. News & World Report rankings of the best “National Liberal Arts Colleges.”