Thomas Aquinas College has climbed 15 spots in the annual U.S. News and World Report college rankings, from No. 58 to No. 43 among the country’s national liberal arts colleges. It is one of only two Catholic institutions in the United States to make the top 50.

The newly released 2019 edition of the magazine’s Best Colleges guide also lists Thomas Aquinas College at No. 11 for “lowest student debt load at graduation” and No. 35 out of 109 for “Best Value” among all national liberal arts colleges, the only Catholic college in the top 50.

The college further ranks at the very top of the guide’s lists for the highest proportion of classes under 20 students (100 percent) and the lowest proportion of classes with more than 50 students (0 percent).

In assembling its annual guide, U.S. News evaluates more than 1,800 four-year colleges and universities in the United States. As its editors explained, “the rankings are based on factors that indicate academic quality, such as graduation rates and faculty resources.” 

Further, for its “Best Values” list, the magazine considers “only those schools ranked in the top half of the 2019 Best Colleges ranking categories.” The “Best Values” list is based on numerous academic and financial criteria, primarily the “ratio of quality to price.”

Thomas Aquinas College director of admissions, Jon Daly, said, “Rankings tell part of the story, and we are certainly pleased with these from U.S. News. They point not only to the strength of the academic program — in terms of quality and class size — but also, importantly, to the college’s reasonable tuition, room & board costs, and the strength and generosity of our need-based financial aid program. Both students and parents need to be sure the investment they make in a college education is worthwhile. We are pleased to see that our college compares so favorably in the U.S. News rankings.”

Thomas Aquinas College has received high marks in the newest editions of all the top annual college guides, both Catholic and secular, including The Princeton Review, the Washington Monthly, and the Cardinal Newman Society.

“Taken together with this 2019 report from U.S. News, these reviews offer parents and prospective students a fairly good idea of the strength of our unique program,” said Mr. Daly. “But a visit to the campus will afford them the opportunity to observe our classes firsthand and to experience the joy students take in pursuing their studies in and outside of class.”

Dr. Michael F. McLean, president of the college, said, “This year’s review from U.S. News, and the many others that rank Thomas Aquinas College highly, are strong indicators that an institution of higher learning can provide an excellent academic program at a competitive price while being fully faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church.”

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