The walkway toward the lower quad, the John Ireland Statue and the Arches on a beautiful summer afternoon. Mark Brown/University of St. Thomas

U.S. News Ranks St. Thomas Among Nation’s Best Value Schools

When it comes to academic quality, U.S. News & World Report ranks St. Thomas the top value in Minnesota, and one of the best values in the nation.

Minnesota’s largest private university is the state’s highest ranked national institution on the Best Value Schools list in the latest U.S. News Best Colleges report. St. Thomas achieved its highest ranking (No. 67) on the Best Value list in the last four years, placing it among the top 12 Catholic universities in the country in that category. The Best Value ranking is an assessment of a school’s academic quality compared to the net cost of attendance.

Overall, St. Thomas ranked in the top third of all national universities (No. 136) in the larger report and held steady among the top 20 national Catholic universities thanks to factors such as rising graduation and retention rates, as well as student excellence. Among national Catholic universities, St. Thomas is tied for No. 19 with Catholic University of America, ahead of Duquesne University and just behind four schools tied for No. 15 (DePaul, Seattle, Seton Hall and University of Dayton).

U.S. News also gave St. Thomas high marks for its engineering and business programs, as well as programs for supporting veterans seeking their college degrees. The ranking comes a week after St. Thomas was named to the Princeton Review’s “Best Colleges” list, which features about 14% of America’s four-year colleges.

“It is gratifying and exciting to see St. Thomas increasingly being mentioned alongside some of the country’s most recognizable and distinguished colleges and universities,” said St. Thomas President Julie Sullivan. “We must never lose sight, however, of the reason behind that recognition: dedication to our students and our mission.”

Among the St. Thomas highlights in this year’s U.S. News Best Colleges report:

  • The university was recognized for its 80% six-year graduation rate and improved graduation rate among Pell Grant recipients.
  • The School of Engineering ranked No. 39 among engineering schools where doctorate degrees are not offered. That ranking is a top five among national Catholic universities and marks the eighth straight year St. Thomas is ranked in the top 50 on the list.
  • Opus College of Business is ranked in the top third of national universities (No. 166) and top 20 among national Catholic universities. Opus has been nationally ranked every year since achieving AACSB accreditation status in 2010.
  • St. Thomas is ranked No. 82 for Best Colleges for Veterans, marking the third year ranked in the top 100 and up from No. 93 last year. This ranking recognizes schools that participate in federal initiatives helping veterans and active-duty service members pay for their degrees.

For the rankings, U.S. News & World Report segments institutions into three categories: national universities, regional universities and national liberal arts schools. Institutions are compared only against others within their categories. St. Thomas was included in the national category, which was designated for schools that offer a full range of undergraduate majors, plus master’s and doctoral programs. Institutions are scored on a range of factors, including graduation and retention rates, class size, student-faculty ratio, alumni giving rates, and others.