(Posted September 3, 2021)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. — Juniata College, one of the nation’s top private four-year colleges due to its educational quality, commitment to access, and unique Program of Emphasis (POE) approach to learning where students can write their own academic program to become broadly educated and effective citizens of the world. has been named one of the top 40 best liberal arts colleges in the U.S. in Washington Monthly’s 2021 college rankings. Juniata rose to No. 36 in the Washington Monthly rankings, up from No. 73 last year.

The Washington Monthly rankings are unique in that they recognize not only what colleges do for their students but also what those students are doing for their country as a result of the education they are receiving. The college performed exceptionally well in the category of community and national service, ranking 23rd. This ranking uses six factors –

  • • the percentage of students in campus ROTC programs,
  • • the percentages of students in AmeriCorps,
  • • the percentage of work-study grant money spent on community service projects,
  • • the level of an institution’s voting engagement
  • • the share of degrees awarded in health, education, and social work majors
  • • whether the institution received the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification (a measure of community involvement)

Every Juniata student graduates with a “local engagement” experience as required by the curriculum. This distinctive element ensures that all students have the opportunity to participate in community-based learning and contribute meaningfully to the lives of others on and off campus. This commitment to service explains why Juniata received the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification, one of 359 campuses to hold this important designation, which indicates institutional commitment to community engagement. The College was designated a Gold Seal Campus by the All In Challenge for its 40-49% student voting rate. A strong coalition focused on voting registration, education, and participation during the 2020 election. Two AmeriCorps Vista positions are sponsored by Juniata, with the volunteers focusing their efforts on serving the broader community. Throughout the upheaval of the COVID-19 pandemic, Juniata’s commitment to utilizing work-study grant money for community service projects did not waiver and, along with many other ongoing community projects, a free remote tutoring service was created in partnership with a local community center.

Juniata has been featured among the best liberal arts colleges in the nation by Washington Monthly for the past decade. Detailed methodology for the rankings is available at https://washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/september-october-2021/a-note-on-methodology-4-year-colleges-and-universities-12/.

This recognition is the latest in a string of accolades that highlight Juniata’s quality and value:

  • • In its 2021 rankings, U.S. News and World Report named Juniata among the top 100 best national liberal arts colleges and one of the top 50 best for undergraduate teaching.
  • • Colleges That Change Lives, a leading national voice in the field of college choice, has featured Juniata since 1996, highlighting the college’s dedication to teaching, faculty commitment to mentoring students, and legacy in science education.
  • • The Princeton Review named Juniata one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education in the 2021 publication of “The Best 387 Colleges.”

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