(Posted September 2, 2003)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- The weekly news magazine U.S. News & World Report has rated Juniata College in the second tier (among the top 106 institutions) of its 2004 rankings of the best liberal arts college in the nation, according to the publication "America's Best Colleges," which is on newsstands this week.

"We are delighted again with the rankings," says Thomas Kepple, president of Juniata College. "We are pleased that people across the country have recognized the quality of education and the improvements that have been made at Juniata."

Juniata College improved its graduation rate and its peer assessment score to retain its ranking.

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. There are 217 liberal arts colleges, comprising four tiers.

Among the criteria the magazine and its editors look at are peer assessment, retention rate, faculty resources, percentage of classes under 20, graduation rates and alumni donations.

Juniata is one of 13 liberal arts colleges in Pennsylvania to be ranked in the top two tiers nationally. The college has an enrollment of 1,355 students and has a student-to-faculty ration of 14 to 1. The average class size at Juniata is 15 students and 85 percent of freshmen return to continue their studies after their first year.

The college has 89 full-time faculty members. About 95 percent of the faculty have earned doctorates or hold a terminal degree in their academic field.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.