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NWC ranked fifth by U.S. News

Sep 9, 2015

Northwestern College has moved up to a tie for fifth place among 96 Midwestern regional colleges in U.S. News & World Report’s 2016 Best Colleges guidebook and is the highest ranked Iowa college in its category. This is the ninth year in a row for Northwestern to be in the top 10 of its category. The rankings, which include 1,376 schools nationwide, are available at

“Every fall we are encouraged when the high quality of a Northwestern education is affirmed by many rankings,” says Greg Christy, Northwestern College’s president. “Our improved U.S. News ranking—along with high rankings from Washington Monthly, Money magazine, and others—all use slightly different criteria but add external validation for the strength of the Northwestern experience to what our graduates and students say. This ranking is yet another indicator of the excellence of our faculty and their commitment to teaching and mentoring students.” 

The rankings are based on key measures of quality such as academic reputation; retention (freshman retention and graduation rate); faculty resources (including class size, the percentage of faculty with the top academic degree, student-faculty ratio and compensation); student selectivity; financial resources; and alumni giving. 

Northwestern is in the top 10 in several of the individual categories, including peer assessment, graduation rate (64 percent), freshmen in the top 25 percent of their high school class (55 percent), and alumni giving rate (21 percent). 

In addition, Northwestern is ranked fourth among Midwestern colleges—again, the highest-rated Iowa college in its category—on U.S. News’ Best Colleges for Veterans list. 

Northwestern was ranked tied for sixth among Midwestern regional colleges last year.