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Wilson named one of "America's Best Colleges"

August 20, 2009

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- Wilson College continues to be among the leaders in colleges offering a high-quality education at a reasonable price, according to U.S. News & World Report's 2010 "America's Best Colleges" issue, which names Wilson a "Top Tier" and "Best Value" college. The magazine is available on newsstands today.

Wilson ranked 17th overall in the category of best baccalaureate colleges focused on undergraduate education in the northern region, slightly down from a ranking of 15th in the category last year. It is the seventh consecutive year that Wilson was recognized as a "Top Tier" college. U.S. News examined a total of 70 colleges in the northern region to determine the rankings.

U.S. News uses a variety of data to calculate the "Best Colleges" rankings, including such factors as assessments by administrators at peer institutions (25 percent), freshman retention rates (25 percent), faculty resources (20 percent), student selectivity (15 percent), financial resources (10 percent) and alumni giving rates (5 percent).

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For the ninth straight year, Wilson also has been honored as a "Best Value" college in the North, ranking seventh among colleges offering bachelor's degrees. The college was ranked sixth last year in that category, which indicates a high-quality education at an affordable cost.

In addition, Wilson's student-teacher ratio of 9 to 1 placed it second among baccalaureate colleges in the northern region in highest proportion of classes with fewer than 20 students. Wilson also was second in the category last year.

In its category, Wilson also ranked sixth in terms of the percentage of international students attending as undergraduates, according to the U.S. News & World Report rankings.

"Wilson remains deeply committed to offering a high-quality, personalized program for students from our region and beyond," said Dr. Mary Hendrickson, Wilson vice president for academic affairs and acting president. "Students benefit from the excellence of our programs, faculty, facilities and our affordability."

The formula used by U.S. News to determine "Best Value" colleges relates a school's academic stature to the net cost of attendance for a student who receives the average level of need-based financial aid.

"These are schools that are above average academically and cost considerably less than many other schools when the financial aid that they dispense, in the form of need-based grants and scholarships, is taken into account," according to the U.S. News Web site.

In the "Best Value" category for northern colleges offering bachelor's degrees, Wilson's ranking of seventh among 10 colleges (only schools ranked in or near the top half of their categories are included) shows that 74% of its students receive aid, for an average discount of 41%, based on 2008 data.

Wilson College recently opened a new $25 million science complex. The college offers its students more than 40 fields of study, including six new majors (equine journalism, financial mathematics, sport management, environmental sustainability, business sustainability and environmental management, and biochemistry and molecular biology), minors, concentrations and certificates, as well as a master's degree in education.

Additional opportunities are available in physical education and dance; pre-professional programs in law, medicine, veterinary medicine and the health sciences; and a variety of special learning opportunities, internships and study-abroad programs.

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