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U.S. News Places the Mount Among the Top in Maryland in Best Regional Universities Rankings

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U.S. News & World Report released its Best Regional Universities rankings for 2020, placing Mount St. Mary’s University third among Maryland’s 10 ranked public and private regional universities, and No. 42 out of more than 175 institutions in the North region.

The university also earned spots on the U.S. News lists for Best Value Colleges, Best Colleges for Veterans, Campus Ethnic Diversity, Top Performers on Social Mobility and Best Undergraduate Teaching.

“These rankings reflect the university’s work in offering our students the curricular and co-curricular opportunities that will help them succeed in life, while providing a welcoming and inclusive campus community,” said President Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D. “I am especially proud to see our advancement on the best-value list and placement on the ethnic diversity, social mobility and undergraduate teaching lists.”

The Best Regional University rankings were comprised of several factors, including average first-year student retention rate, class size, student excellence, student-to-faculty ratio and acceptance, student outcomes, retention and graduation rates. Additionally, it included a peer assessment score and weighed the institution’s average alumni giving rate.

Only 30%, or 88, of North regional universities qualified as Best Value Colleges. The Mount advanced to No. 23 on the list, moving up nine places from 2019. The university supports students with strong financial aid packages and ensures that the tuition rate is competitive. Nearly 75% of students receive need-based financial aid.

The Mount, which proudly enrolled 123 veterans in 2018-19, was again recognized as a top 25 institution in the 2020 Best Colleges for Veterans rankings for the North region. These rankings are designed to “provide military veterans and active-duty service members with data on which top-ranked schools offer benefits that can help them make pursuing a college education more affordable,” according to U.S. News. Only one-sixth of the ranked universities in the North qualified for this list.

“Creating a place where we can serve those who served our country and put their lives at risk is especially important to me,” said Trainor. “The responsibility and work ethic that our veterans demonstrate not only set a great example for their classmates, but help them succeed in their academic and civilian pursuits after their military service has concluded.”

Over the past several years, the Mount has placed increased emphasis on providing support to first-generation and disadvantaged students through the work of the Center for Student Engagement and Success and Learning Services staff as well as a summer bridge program for incoming freshmen. This emphasis on student retention and success is reflected in the university’s inclusion for the first time on the Top Performers on Social Mobility list, ranking at 163 of 288.

In only the second year of the Campus Ethnic Diversity list, the Mount earned a placement of 53 of 75 ranked universities in the north. This placement reflects the university’s increased student diversity over the past several years,

The Mount also is new to the Best Undergraduate Teaching list, placing 28th among the 40 universities that qualified for this category. Universities on this list have faculty and administrators who are committed to teaching undergraduate students in a high-quality manner. College presidents, provosts and admissions deans who participated in the annual U.S. News peer assessment survey were asked to nominate up to 15 schools in their Best Colleges ranking category with a strength in undergraduate teaching. Only universities that received seven or more nominations were ranked.

“This ranking confirms what I have long known: our faculty members are excellent teachers who make a difference in students’ lives on a daily basis,” Trainor said. “It is heartening to see that other higher education leaders recognize the excellence of our faculty and administrators.”