The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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August 22, 2008

Gustavus, MSU eye college rankings

Gusties return to vaunted U.S. News & World Report rankings

For Gustavus Adolphus College, they’re just happy to be ranked again. For Minnesota State University, it’s another year at the top of a tier from which they’d like to graduate.

Yep, it’s college rankings time again, the time when the name on everyone’s mind is U.S. News & World Report. The magazine ranks colleges and universities each year, and it is considered the most comprehensive and most watched of all college-ranking efforts.

A year ago at this time Gustavus officials were explaining why, after years of solid rankings, it didn’t make the list at all. As it turned out, an error someone made in filling out the college’s U.S. News application resulted in the college being dropped from the rankings. That error was avoided this year, and Gustavus has returned to the list of the top 100 liberal arts colleges in the nation.

They come in this year at No. 88.

“We’re happy to be part of that group,” said Mark Anderson, Gustavus’ admissions director. “It’s just one more area where we’ve been noteworthy.”

MSU also pays attention to rankings. Each year college officials hope to hop up to the top tier. When you’re in the top tier, your ranking is made public in the magazine’s September issue.

As it is, they won’t know until next week — when a formal request by MSU is granted and it learns the specific rank. In the magazine, the institutions in the lower tier are listed alphabetically and without a ranking.

MSU spokesman Michael Cooper said the university expects to be where it was last year, at the top of tier two for master’s degree-granting institutions. And it’s possible that next year, as MSU continues to grow the number of areas in which it offers doctorate degrees, they’ll be competing in the national universities category.

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