Mercyhurst University climbed to #37 among Master’s Universities in the North in the 2014 edition of “America’s Best Colleges,” released today by U.S. News & World Report.
Last year, Mercyhurst ranked 47th in the category, which includes 180 regional universities in the north that offer a variety of bachelor’s and master’s degrees, but few or no doctoral programs.
“Despite tough economic times, Mercyhurst has continued to invest in improving academic excellence,” Mercyhurst President Dr. Thomas J. Gamble noted. “I believe today’s rankings show that commitment is paying off with a very high quality educational experience for our students.”
Phillip J. Belfiore, Ph.D., vice president for academic affairs, added, “As an institution, we have never wavered in our commitment to academic quality. This ranking validates that commitment.”
Prior to 2008, Mercyhurst regularly appeared among the top 20 Comprehensive Colleges in the north. As the number of graduate programs at Mercyhurst grew, U.S. News moved the school into the new category, where its ranking has risen consistently each year.
The magazine ranks schools based on a set of metrics said to reflect the quality of a postsecondary institution, ranging from freshman retention to graduation rates, and from the selectivity of its admission process to the percentage of alumni who donate to their alma mater.
Mercyhurst data showed improvement in several of those categories. The standardized test scores achieved by incoming Mercyhurst students continue to trend upward, this year showing an average range of 950-1180, up from 940-1150 two years ago.
Mercyhurst also had a strong showing in its alumni giving rate, now up to 21 percent. Only four schools in the entire category (including top-ranked Villanova) had better rates.
Among Pennsylvania universities, Mercyhurst tied for the fifth-best showing, topped by Villanova University, the University of Scranton, St. Joseph’s University and LaSalle University. It was tied with King’s College.