Chalk up another national ranking for Gustavus Adolphus College.

In a study recently released by the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, Gustavus earned a top-10 ranking for its graduation rate among institutions with similar levels of admissions selectivity.

Gustavus is one of only two Minnesota private colleges to have made the top 10. The other is St. Olaf in Northfield.

The study, titled “Diplomas and Dropouts: Which Colleges Actually Graduate Their Students (and Which Don’t),” examined the more than 1 million students who entered a U.S. four-year college or university in the fall of 2001 and examined what percentage of those students graduated by the spring of 2007.

Gustavus, which is in a category labeled “highly competitive,” came in tied for ninth place with an 86 percent graduation rate. The average six-year graduation rate in the “highly competitive” category was 75.2 percent.

“This is great news that reinforces the fact that academic excellence is one of the pillars of the Gustavus experience,” Gustavus President Jack Ohle said.

Added Mark Anderson, vice president for enrollment management, “Not only does Gustavus have a high graduation rate, but we also have a high retention rate. Students who choose Gustavus are typically extremely pleased with their experience and the overwhelming majority graduate in four years.”

Babson College in Wellesley, Mass., topped the list with an 89 percent graduation rate. Other schools in the top 10 include Mount Holyoke College, the University of California, Berkeley, Grinnell College, Wheaton College, and St. Olaf College.

AEI is a private, non-partisan, not-for-profit institution based in Washington, D.C. It conducts research and education efforts on issues of government, politics, economics and social welfare.

Carleton College’s graduation rate is 93 percent, but that college, also in Northfield, competes in the “most competitive” category. Minnesota State University, meanwhile, is at 50 percent, which is in the same neighborhood as most public universities in Minnesota.

The University of Minnesota topped all public four-year schools in the state with a rate of 63 percent. Bemidji State University’s rate was 61 percent. The University of Minnesota, Morris’ rate was 57. Winona State University’s was 55. The University of Minnesota Duluth’s was 50. Southwest Minnesota State University’s was 47. Minnesota State University, Moorhead, and St. Cloud State University each had rates of 46 percent.

The study’s authors said, “The bottom line is that students enrolling in a college or university should have a reasonable expectation that they will earn a degree in a timely fashion.”

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