(Posted August 17, 2010)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College once again has climbed the ranks of nationally recognized liberal arts colleges as Juniata was ranked 81st in the U.S. News & World Report Rankings released today.

In addition, Juniata last week also was listed in the top 100 in the Forbes.com rankings, which rated Juniata 82nd in the nation among all colleges and universities nationwide, down slightly from its 75th ranking in the 2009 poll, in its recently released "America's Top Colleges 2010" poll.

"Juniata's steady climb in the U.S. News poll over the past few years is truly an indication that our reputation as a top liberal arts institution has gone nationwide. We are extremely pleased at our continued improvement and we plan to work all the harde

Juniata was ranked 81st in the top 100 liberal arts colleges in the U.S. News & World Report poll, a 4-slot jump from its 85 ranking last year.

"Juniata's steady climb in the U.S. News poll over the past few years is truly an indication that our reputation as a top liberal arts institution has gone nationwide," says Thomas R. Kepple, president of Juniata College. "We are extremely pleased at our continued improvement and we plan to work all the harder to gain even more accolades from these ratings organizations."

Juniata's placement of 81 in the top 100 liberal arts colleges in the U.S. News poll is its highest rating ever in the first tier, according to the publication's issue "America's Best Colleges." There are 266 liberal arts colleges included in the survey spread over two tiers.

Juniata shares the 81st ranking with six other institutions: Austin College in Sherman, Texas; Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa; Hendrix College in Conway, Ark.; College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, Minn.; University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash.; and Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

According to guidelines established by the Carnegie Foundation and adopted by U.S. News, institutions that award at least 50 percent of their undergraduate degrees in liberal arts are defined as liberal arts schools.

In the Forbes.com ratings, Juniata was rated just below Grinnell College (78th), Denison University (77th) and Washington University (76th) in this year's poll. In addition, Juniata was rated ahead of such Pennsylvania institutions as Franklin & Marshall, Washington & Jefferson, and Ursinus (all 99th), Carnegie Mellon University (108th), Villanova (114th), Gettysburg (123rd), Allegheny College (127th), Muhlenberg (132nd), Susquehanna University (202nd), and Penn State University (192nd).

Juniata was one of just 10 Pennsylvania institutions rated in Forbes' top 100, including Swarthmore College (seventh), Haverford (14th), the University of Pennsylvania (36th), Bryn Mawr College (38th), Bucknell University (56th), Lafayette College (61st), Dickinson College (67th) and Franklin & Marshall, Washington & Jefferson, and Ursinus (all 99th).

"Anytime we are ranked in the top 100 of all colleges and universities in the United States is wonderful. Not only is the Forbes ranking more complete but it also removes political infighting from the college rankings and focuses their survey on issues that directly concern students looking for a great educational experience," says Kepple. "The Forbes poll focuses on categories that are directly relevant to students, asking whether classes are interesting, whether the student can get a good job after graduation, whether they can graduate in four years and how much debt they'll have when they graduate?"

The Forbes poll weighed its ratings by analyzing a variety of data. The magazine based 27.5 percent of the rankings on 4 million student evaluations of courses and instructors on the Web site RateMyProfessors.com. Another 30 percent analyzes postgraduate success, such as the average salaries of graduates as reported by Payscale.com. alumni listings in "Who's Who in America" and alumni in Forbes CCAP Corporate Officers List.

Additionally, another 17.5 percent takes into account the estimated average student debt after four years. Another section (17.5 percent) of the rankings are based on the college's four-year graduation rate. Finally, the rankings also take into account (7.5 percent) the number of students or faculty, adjusted for enrollment, who have won nationally competitive prizes such as a Rhodes Scholarship or a Fulbright Fellowship.

Juniata also was rated a "Best Buy" by the "Fiske Guide to Colleges 2011," one of 45 other institutions rated as four- or five-star academic colleges or universities that are included in the "moderate" or "inexpensive" categories.

Additionally, Juniata is one of just 40 colleges featured in the ever-popular college guidebook "Colleges That Change Lives," by a former New York Times education editor, the late Loren Pope. Juniata also has been included in the "2011 College Access and Opportunity Guide" by the Center for Student Opportunity. The Center for Student Opportunity is a nonprofit group based in Bethesda, Md. that publishes a college guidebook designed to help low-income, first-generation college-bound students find the right college for their needs.

Finally, Juniata was chosen as one of the nation's best institutions for undergraduate education, according to the Princeton Review, the New York-based company known for its education, admission and test-prep services. Juniata was selected one of 218 colleges chosen for the "Best in the Northeast" section of the Princeton Review annual college guide "The Best 371 Colleges." There are 373 institutions overall featured in the 2010 edition of the guide.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.