In the newly released 2016 edition of its Best Colleges guide, U.S. News & World Report ranks Thomas Aquinas College in the top half of its top tier of all liberal arts colleges in the nation. It also praises the College’s financial aid program, listing the school as No. 30 among the Top 40 national liberal arts colleges on its Best Values list.

In discussing the basis for this “Best Value” ranking, U.S. News explains that it “takes into account a school’s academic quality…. The higher the quality of the program and the lower the cost, the better the deal.” It adds that “only schools in or near the top half of their U.S. News ranking categories are included because U.S. News considers the most significant values to be among colleges that perform well academically.”

In addition, U.S. News includes Thomas Aquinas College on its list for highest Freshman Retention Rate (87 percent) among national liberal arts schools and ranks it first in the country for the highest proportion of classes under 20 students (100 percent). Thomas Aquinas College is also the only Catholic college to appear in the U.S. News rankings for “Least Debt” at graduation, No. 8 among the top 25 national liberal arts colleges. The magazine notes that average debt among graduates of Thomas Aquinas College is $16,263 — less than half the national average debt of $35,000.

Says Thomas Aquinas College Director of Admissions Jon Daly, “Rankings tell part of the story, and we were 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 reasonable tuition, room & board costs, and the strength and generosity of our need-based financial aid program. In these difficult economic times 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.”

The 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 Association of College Trustees and Alumni, and the National Catholic Register.

“Taken together with this report from U.S. News, these reviews offer parents and prospective students a fairly good idea of the strength of our unique program,” says Mr. Daly.  “But a visit to the campus will also 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.”

Adds President Michael F. McLean, “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.”