“The most dramatic jump in the National Liberal Arts Colleges rankings,” write the editors of U.S. News & World Report, “came from California’s Thomas Aquinas College, which rose 29 spots from a tie at No. 82 to a tie at No. 53” — the top third of the top tier.

The newly released 2017 edition of the magazine’s Best Colleges guide also lists the College at No. 24 among the Top 40 on its “Great Schools, Great Prices” list and No. 11 among the top 25 national liberal arts colleges for “Least Debt” at graduation.

In discussing the basis for these rankings, 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.” The magazine additionally ranks Thomas Aquinas College first in the country for the highest proportion of classes under 20 students (100 percent) and the lowest proportion of classes with more than 50 students (0 percent). 

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.”