Bridgewater College lands on U.S. News & World Report’s ‘Best Colleges 2021’ list

Outside of McKinney Building

National college rankings are more than just aggregates of data. They serve as a tool to help college-bound students select the best-fit school to continue their educational journeys. These lists help them determine the place where they will expand their opportunities, connect with quality resources and be set up to achieve their post-collegiate aspirations. And, according to U.S. News and World Report, for those students seeking a liberal arts college that provides small student-faculty ratios, individualized attention and a strong academic focus, Bridgewater College is a top choice.

U.S. News and World Report recently released its 2021 Best Colleges list, which analyzed data on 17 measures of academic quality for 1,452 bachelor’s degree-granting institutions. Bridgewater received two distinctions this year: as a top National Liberal Arts College and as a Top Performer on Social Mobility for national liberal arts colleges.

“Bridgewater’s national profile continues to rise as we are continually recognized for our commitment to student excellence in terms of academics, financial affordability and graduate outcomes,” said Michael Post, Vice President of Enrollment Management. “We are thrilled to be named a best college this year by U.S. News and World Report, because it speaks to our commitment to students and providing the best collegiate experience that we can.”

This year’s rankings are based on data from the 2019-20 academic year, and they factored in information on graduation and retention rates, social mobility, graduation rate performance, undergraduate academics reputation, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources per student, average alumni giving rate and graduate indebtedness. Under the faculty resources category, the rankings took into account items such as class size, student-faculty ratio and percent of full-time faculty.

As a Top Performer on Social Mobility among national liberal arts colleges, Bridgewater College was recognized for its commitment to admitting and graduating a significant number of students who have been awarded Pell grants to further their educations. Thirty-seven percent of the College’s first-year students in the 2019-20 academic year were Pell-eligible. Bridgewater continues to develop strategies and implement programs to ensure positive graduation outcomes among this group, including the College’s Eagles Success student peer mentoring program.   

            “At Bridgewater, we make lasting connections that lead to larger lives,” Post said. “It’s truly amazing to witness the accomplishments of our students, faculty, staff and alumni.”