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Knox Ranks Among Top 100 in US News

Criteria include academic quality, retention and alumni support

August 20, 2009

Knox College is again ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the nation's top 100 liberal arts colleges. The magazine's annual rankings were released August 20 on the magazine's website, in the September 1 edition of the printed magazine, and in a comprehensive guidebook that goes on sale on August 24.

Knox's ranking of 80 among the nation's top 266 liberal arts colleges is based on the academic caliber of the Knox student body, a high retention rate for returning students, and an increase in support from the College's alumni.

Strongest Alumni Support in State
"The support from alumni is key," said Paul Steenis, dean of admission and vice president for enrollment. "The contributions of alumni -- both in time and money -- directly support the education of Knox students. And that support also tells us that their Knox education continues to play an important role in their lives. This year a record number of alumni -- 36% -- contributed to the college -- the highest rate among liberal arts colleges in Illinois."

U.S. News uses primarily data on the characteristics of students seeking admission and the college's financial resources. According to U.S. News authors Robert J. Morse and Samuel Flanigan, the rankings' primary indicators "include input measures that reflect a school's student body, its faculty, and its financial resources."

Knox Students: Motivated, Curious, High Achieving
This year's U.S. News data are from 2008, the most recent year for which complete information is available. The data showed that 44% of new Knox students ranked in the top 10% of their high school class, up from 40% the year before. "Knox has seen record numbers of students applying, and those students continue to be unusually motivated, intellectually curious, and high achieving," Steenis notes. "Attracting top students is consistent with Knox's ranking among the nation's top 100 liberal arts colleges. Strong students want the kind of quality education Knox offers."

"You get a good picture of Knox's strengths when you look at all the college guides together -- national rankings in Forbes and Washington Monthly, a top 100 ranking among national liberal arts colleges in U.S. News, plus inclusion in Princeton Review's "Best 371 Colleges," said Paul Steenis. "These distinctions, along with recognition in places like Loren Pope's book on the 40 'Colleges That Change Lives,' showcase the outstanding education Knox offers."

Earlier this month, Forbes magazine announced its report on 600 of the nation's best colleges and universities based on the achievements of students and alumni, and the quality of the faculty. Also earlier this month, Princeton Review announced their listing of the nation's top 371 colleges, primarily based on student survey data.

Best Advice: Develop Your Own Ranking System
"While there are many methodologies for assessing the quality of colleges, the best methodology for selecting a college is the one devised by individual students based on the qualities and characteristics most important to them," says Steenis. "Don't rely on U.S. News or anyone else to determine which college is best for achieving your dreams. Use the data available to you, ask lots of questions, and gather the information based on the criteria most important to you. Develop your own ranking system for colleges. Only you can develop a system to identify the match that's right for you."

Founded in 1837, Knox is a national liberal arts college in Galesburg, Illinois, with students from 47 states and 48 countries. Knox's "Old Main" is a National Historic Landmark and the only building remaining from the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debates.