In its annual "Best Colleges" rankings release, U.S. News and World Report awarded Whitman College an overall ranking of 41 among the nation's liberal arts colleges. Whitman shares the No. 41 spot with Skidmore College and Sewanee: The University of the South. Released in September, this year's ranking is on par with the college's previous performance; Whitman earned 41st in 2016, 40th in 2015, and 37th in 2014.
Also notable among this year's rankings is the fact that Whitman was recognized for its focus on undergraduate teaching, ranking 20th on the "Best Undergraduate Teaching" list. Whitman also placed 77th for "Best Value Schools" and 56th for "High School Counselor Rankings."
"We are always proud to be recognized as one of the best liberal arts colleges in the country," said Whitman College President Kathleen Murray. "We know that rankings are only a small part of our story, but are honored this year to have the added recognition for our commitment to undergraduate student learning."
Murray credits the college's high retention and graduation rates-which heavily influence a college's overall ranking-to Whitman faculty and staff members. Whitman reported an 83 percent graduation rate last year and retained 94 percent of its first-year students. Both are common indicators of student satisfaction.
Viewed by region, the rankings reveal Whitman as the top liberal arts college in the Pacific Northwest. Tacoma's University of Puget Sound tied for the 68th with Berea College and Earlham College. Portland's Lewis & Clark College came in at No. 76. Oregon's Willamette University and Reed College also made the list in a three-way tie for the 82nd spot along with Alleghany College.
The U.S. News and World Report ranking is one of many accolades Whitman receives each year. The college is continually recognized as a "Best Value College" by The Princeton Review and a top college by Forbes. Whitman likewise stood out in this year's Princeton Review rankings for having the most accessible professors, the best classroom experience and best quality of life.