In a recent ranking by BestColleges.com, Northwestern tied for fifth on the list of the best four-year colleges in the state of Iowa. Only Grinnell College, Cornell College, Drake University and the University of Northern Iowa were ranked ahead of NW and the University of Iowa.
Other schools of note on the list of 25 colleges were Iowa State, sixth; Dordt, 15th; and Morningside, 17th. Northwest Iowa Community College in nearby Sheldon placed as the best two-year college in the state of Iowa.
The rankings were based on scores, statistics and information from IPEDS and College Navigator databases. Both services are part of the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics. The most recent data used was from the 2013-14 academic school years.
Colleges were scored on acceptance, retention, graduation and enrollment rates. Student loan default percentages were also included as part of the scoring process, as student debt is a major concern for prospective students choosing which college to attend.
NW’s director of Public Relations, Duane Beeson, said it is a great accomplishment for NW to be ranked so highly.
“It’s quite impressive to be listed in the top five of Iowa’s four-year colleges by a source that uses comparative data from the Department of Education,” Beeson said. “Especially since this ranks only 25 colleges and there are well over 30.”
Beeson also noted NW placed higher on the list than several very good colleges. This, along with other awards and rankings NW has garnered over the years, continue to show the quality education and experiences that NW students receive.
“This is one of the many rankings we’ve received that show the excellent education we offer, based on a variety of data,” Beeson said.
While it is an honor to be ranked so highly, Beeson was not surprised, as NW believes strongly in what it offers to students. The success of NW graduates, both in their fields and as members of communities, has shown in itself that NW is doing impactful and outstanding work.
“We know there are a lot of outstanding things happening here,” Beeson said. “Our graduates go on to get great jobs, excel in strong graduate programs, and offer exceptional leadership for their churches, but we’re excited any time an external agency offers affirmation of this.”