Keuka College ranked No. 24 out of 70

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express
And so it begins... Keuka College students began moving onto campus this week in preparation for the beginning of classes Aug. 25.

Keuka College works hard to ensure that its graduates leave campus with a diploma and not a mountain of debt.

Its success at doing that has again been recognized by U.S. News & World Report.

In the 2009 edition of America’s Best Colleges , the magazine’s annual college guide, Keuka is ranked No. 4 on a list of colleges in its category—baccalaureate colleges (north)— whose students in the Class of 2007 graduated with the lightest debt loads.

The data include loans taken out by students from the colleges, financial institutions, and federal, state, and local governments.

“This is the third straight year that we have been recognized in the debt load category,” said College President Joseph G. Burke.

There was more good news for Keuka from U.S. News. In the overall rankings of 70 baccalaureate colleges (north), Keuka checked in at No. 24.

“We have consistently been ranked in the top one one-third of our category, which says a lot about the quality of our curriculum, faculty, staff, students, alumni support, and giving,” said Burke, who added that “our contention that we provide a quality education at an affordable cost was reinforced by our debt load and overall ranking.”

By U.S. News definition, schools in the baccalaureate category focus on undergraduate education and offer a range of degree programs—in the liberal arts, which account for fewer than half of their bachelor’s degrees, and in professional programs such as business, nursing and education. There are 319 comprehensive colleges ranked within four geographic regions: North, South, Midwest, and West.

The U.S. News rankings of baccalaureate colleges are based on 11 indicators of academic quality, including assessment by administrators at peer institutions, average freshman retention rate, average graduation rate, percent of classes under 20 students, percent of classes with 50 students or more, student/faculty ratio, percent of faculty who are full time, freshmen in the SAT/ACT 25th -75th percentile, freshmen in the top 25 percent of their high school class, acceptance rate, and the average alumni giving rate (the average percentage of alumni who gave to their school during 2005-06 and 2006-07).

Highlights of the college rankings will be published in the Sept. 1 issue of U.S. News & World Report, available for newsstand purchase Monday, Aug. 25. The 2009 America's Best Colleges guidebook will be available as of Tuesday, Aug. 26.