Le Fer Hall in the summer

The Woods ranked among best universities in the Midwest

News | 09.14.2020
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For the twelfth consecutive year, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation’s best colleges for 2021. SMWC again ranked, number 46, in the top third of the Best Regional Universities as well as several other categories. The results were announced early Monday morning.

“I am exceptionally proud of our efforts to provide a high-quality educational experience, which is affirmed year after year by the rankings. The Woods is truly blessed with talented, passionate faculty, staff and coaches who put the student first, always,” said Dottie L. King, Ph.D., president. 

Social mobility, a relatively new category, measures how well schools work with federal Pell Grant eligible students – those typically coming from households whose family incomes are less than $50,000 annually. This year, SMWC jumped in the rankings, securing a spot at 33 in the category as compared to last year’s ranking of 73. 

SMWC has made a commitment to working with Indiana’s 21st Century Scholar students to create the best financial aid packages possible, which means for many, a debt-free option.

“These high rankings just affirm the quality, affordable education that SMWC offers,” said Janet Clark, Ph.D., vice president for academic and student affairs. “As we launch new academic programs, expand athletic offerings and bring online a new residence and dining hall, we have not lost sight of our Catholic values and work hard to make a private education possible for everyone.”

The College also ranked 25 for the Best Value, which is based on the academic quality and the net cost of attendance for students who receive the average level of need-based financial aid.

In previous years, SMWC was ranked in a smaller Best Regional Colleges category. Last year, SMWC was moved to the Best Regional Universities Midwest category which places the College into a larger pool of like colleges and universities.

According to U.S. News & World Report, the reclassification by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education focuses on graduation, retention, social mobility, financial resources, student excellence, alumni giving and expert opinion. Institutions in the regional university category offer a broad scope of undergraduate degrees and some master’s degree programs.