MU Ranked Top 40 Best Colleges in the Region

The University was recently ranked among the U.S. News and World Report’s “Top 40 Best Colleges in the Regional Universities North” category for the third year in a row, and was also named “One of the Nation’s Best Institutions for Undergraduate Education” by the Princeton Review.

“We are delighted to be recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best colleges in the nation,” said President Paul Brown. “One of our core values, and strengths, is offering a highly personalized and transformative learning experience which prepares our graduates to be life-long learners.”

Currently ranking 37th on U.S. News and World Report’s list, the University has ascended since its original listing at 76th in the region in 2005.

“Everyone on this campus should be incredibly proud,” said Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President for Student Life and Leadership Engagement. “This suggests that Monmouth is a great place to get an education.”

The U.S. News and World Report includes data on over 1,800 colleges across the country, whereas the Princeton Review just profiles 15 percent of the country’s 2,500 four-year colleges are profiled in their college guide.

Schools that are eligible to be ranked in the “Best Colleges” lists are ranked on up to 16 measures of academic excellence. The most heavily weighted factors, according to, are outcome-related, including graduation and retention rates.

This year, the originally predicted graduation rate of 59 percent was exceeded, with actual numbers being at 61 percent. As for the average freshman retention rate, the University was at its highest ever: 80 percent.

“Retention is really about making sure our students feel connected,” said Robert McCaig, Vice President for Enrollment Management. “I believe Monmouth does an extraordinary job of engaging and connecting its students. With this hallmark, the rankings and mentions in national publications is just the byproduct.”

According to William Craig, Vice President for Finance, freshman retention is coming in at 83.4 percent, being about 4 percent higher than the year before, while also being the University’s highest ever. Furthermore, the four-year graduation rate is at 55.2 percent, whereas a decade ago, the school was just at about 36 percent.

Craig feels the University’s rising statistics in multiple academic categories continue to make it one of the fastest-rising schools.

“I’m so excited that (Monmouth University) was recognized on these lists,” said Alexandra Soubasis, an undeclared freshman. Soubasis believes the positive rankings will only continue to shed light on the University’s undergraduate programs and encourage prospective students to enroll.

“The interdisciplinary nature [of Monmouth University’s educational curriculum] makes for better educated students of the world,” said Noel Belinski, MAT, a lecturer in the English department. “It helps (students) go into the future. They make connections and see interactions inside and outside the classroom.”

Nagy believes it is important that students feel that “when you come (to Monmouth University), you are not a number, but a person.”

“Monmouth has a great story to tell,” added Nagy. “We still need to challenge that we are providing the fullest student experience.”

“The goal is to do better by our students,” continues Vice President McCaig, “The rankings will come.”