The C of I improves in several categories in U.S. News & World Report ranking
2008. 08. 22.
CALDWELL – The College of Idaho improved in several categories in the rankings of America's best colleges, according to results released today in U.S. News & World Report.
The C of I improved in the areas of peer assessment, alumni support and freshman retention. It also showed improvements in class size and percentage of full-time faculty.
The college in the third of four tiers, the same as last year. The 2009 edition of "America's Best Colleges," will be on newsstands Monday, Aug. 25, and is available online at www.usnews.com/colleges beginning today.
C of I President Bob Hoover noted that the improved showing in the peer assessment category is particularly significant because it is given the most weight in the rankings and is considered the most difficult to change.
"Our faculty and programs are receiving national attention in the form of federal and private foundation grants, and our graduates receive national recognition as Rhodes, Marshall and Goldwater scholars," Hoover said. "Our peers are showing that they recognize and respect those honors."
The peer assessment survey allows the top academics consulted by U.S. News, including presidents, provosts and deans of admissions to account for intangibles such as faculty dedication to teaching.
The C of I made significant gains in several of the magazine's ranking criteria:
- Peer assessment: This year's peer assessment score was 2.2, up from 2.1 in 2008. This is significant because peer assessment accounts for 25 percent of the total ranking.
"Peer assessment is considered the most difficult score to change in the U.S. News rankings," Hoover said. "This shows that our peers are hearing about and remembering positive things about The College of Idaho, including the grant support received by our faculty and departments, the early success of our $175 million comprehensive campaign and our name change."
- Alumni support: The percentage of C of I alumni who financially support the college has risen dramatically over the past five years and this year is no exception. U.S. News & World Report shows a four-year average of 21 percent alumni giving rate in this year's ranking, compared to 17 percent in last year's ranking.
Five years ago, 14 percent of alumni gave to the college. In 2007, that number improved to 29 percent.
"Alumni support is crucial to the financial health of the college," Hoover said. "This category is similar to peer assessment because it relies on the opinions of others. It demonstrates that we are connecting with our alumni and showing them the benefits of giving back to the college."
- Freshman retention: The freshman retention rate (averaged over four years) increased to 80 percent in this year's rankings, up from 78 percent last year.
"The curriculum at The C of I is rigorous, so improving our freshman retention rate shows that our freshman classes over the last four years have received the academic support they need from the college," Hoover said.
Other areas where The C of I improved were:
- Classes with more than 50 students: 1 percent in 2009; 2 percent in 2008
- Full-time faculty: 88 percent in 2009; 82 percent in 2008
Several organizations have released their annual rankings of colleges and universities recently and have included The C of I.
Last week, Forbes.com announced its college ranking system, placing The College of Idaho No. 174 of 569 colleges and universities. Only two other Idaho colleges were included in the rankings, BYU-Idaho (No. 245) and the University of Idaho (No. 275). Boise State University, Idaho State University and Northwest Nazarene University were not included. This is the first year for the Forbes.com rankings.
The College of Idaho was again named one of the "Best 368 Colleges" by The Princeton Review in July. Only about 15 percent of four-year colleges in the United States and Canada are chosen for the honor.