(Posted May 11, 2018)

Amber Boring '18 

Amber Boring '18 

HUNTINGDON, Pa.—Juniata College is ranked number 82 in a new ranking system for colleges and universities, College Consensus, a website that aggregates publisher rankings and student reviews and has published their Best National Liberal Arts Colleges 2018 at https://www.collegeconsensus.com/rankings/best-liberal-arts-colleges/.

To identify the Best National Liberal Arts Colleges 2018, College Consensus combined the latest results from the most respected college rankings with thousands of real student reviews to produce a unique consensus score for each school.

According to College Consensus founder Jeremy Alder, "Like Rotten Tomatoes or Metacritic does for movies, College Consensus gathers the publisher rankings and student reviews from around the web and distills the results into simple, easy to understand scores so students can quickly and easily compare schools. It is the ranking of all rankings, so to speak."

“I applaud any system that takes student opinions and concerns into account, given that they are the people experiencing what we offer in ways that broad data cannot always capture,” says James A. Troha, president of Juniata College. “As often happens when we are ranked, Juniata has shown up in the top 100 in the College Consensus rankings, firmly positioned among the best colleges in the nation. Just as we encourage prospective students to look at a variety of information sources, I appreciate that the College Consensus methodology models a similar approach.”

College Consensus provides a numerical score that averages the consensus of prominent published rankings and student reviews. The system considers published rankings that provide raw data for numerical scores. Those rankings include U.S. News’ national and regional college and university rankings, Forbes.com’s “America’s Top Colleges,” the Center for College Affordability rankings, Wall Street Journal and New York Times Higher Education rankings, and Wallethub. They also consider student testimonials and rankings from Niche, Students Review, Unigo, MyPlan, and Cappex, all reputable student review sites that provide numerical scores. The average of the “Publisher’s Consensus” and “Student Consensus” creates the final score. College Consensus outlines its methodology at https://www.collegeconsensus.com/about/

"I applaud any system that takes student opinions and concerns into account, given that they are the people experiencing what we offer in ways that broad data cannot always capture." -- James A. Troha, president of Juniata College 

At #82, Juniata is positioned ahead of #83, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, #84 Southwestern University, and #85 Franklin College. Ahead of Juniata in the College Consensus rankings are #79 Gustavus Adolphus College, #80 Saint Michael’s College, and #81 University of Puget Sound.

In late April, College Consensus released its first rankings, including the list, “The Best National Liberal Arts Colleges.” According to College Consensus Managing Editor Carrie Sealey-Morris, the best national liberal arts colleges "keep the spirit of traditional college education alive, while reinventing the classical humanities and sciences for the 21st century."

National liberal arts colleges, for College Consensus ranking purposes, are identified by a few factors. First of all, according to Sealy-Morris, "their emphasis is primarily on providing the very best undergraduate experience," and their curriculum is built on a "common core of classes in the humanities, arts, and sciences."

Secondly, these schools "have a reputation that allows them to attract students nationally." Most importantly, national liberal arts colleges offer a curriculum designed for students to continue to graduate education, emphasizing "critical thinking, research, and communication:" transferable, adaptable skills for any profession or academic path. 

"Since we draw on information from many different sites, with many different methodologies and perspectives," Sealey-Morris explains, "College Consensus gives prospective students the truest picture of what experts and students alike have to say."

In the College Consensus method, "all voices are taken seriously; it's not just the colleges with the biggest endowments and loudest marketing that rise to the top,” says Sealy-Morris. “Colleges with with the best academics, best student experience, and best overall quality show up."

College Consensus feels their method of ranking is particularly important for students seeking a small liberal arts college.

"Whether they are looking for intellectual challenge, a close-knit community, or entry into leadership in business, government, or the arts, students can trust College Consensus to offer a comprehensive picture of the top liberal arts schools in the U.S.," says Sealy-Morris. “Because College Consensus knows that the 'best ranked' doesn't always mean the best for every student's needs, Consensus rankings concentrate on bringing prospective students the widest possible panorama of options. 

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