Mary Baldwin in Top Tier Among Master’s-Level Universities

August 19, 2005

Mary Baldwin StudentsIn its fourth year of classification as a master’s-level university, Mary Baldwin University continues to be named among the best colleges and universities in the country, according to the latest annual rankings byU.S. News & World Report. The college was listed in the top tier of master’s-level universities in the South for the fourth year in a row, with a ranking of 31 out of 130 schools in the category.

PICTURE DESCRIPTIONMary Baldwin was also recently recognized as one of the best colleges in the Southeast region by The Princeton Review this fall. The “Best Colleges: Region by Region” section – a part of the rankings found only online – profiles colleges and universities that “stand out as academically excellent institutions of higher learning.” Mary Baldwin is among 140 colleges and universities to receive the Best in the Southeast distinction; last year Mary Baldwin was named one of the best colleges in the Mid-Atlantic. New geographical divisions group Virginia with 11 other southeastern states. The site also offers online application and a feature that invites students to gauge their chances of admission.

“The data that places us in the top tier year after year clearly shows an important element of our success: the low student to faculty ratio — 10 to 1 this year — and small average class size,” Mary Baldwin President Pamela Fox said about Mary Baldwin’s ranking inU.S. News & World Report. “These allow us to personalize education, making sure that each student has those co-curricular and academic experiences that are so important. Mary Baldwin University offers multiple avenues to achievement — through our extraordinary commitment to personalized education, through our signature programs like the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership and the Program for the Exceptionally Gifted, through the 10 key experiences we call the Mary Baldwin Advantage, and in countless other ways.”

Mary Baldwin’s student-to-faculty ratio and average class size are lower than most other schools in the category; only four schools in the comparison group of 160 have a lower student to faculty ratio, and only 14 have a higher percentage of classes with 20 or fewer students. The most heavily weighted ofU.S. News’many criteria is what the magazine terms “peer assessment” — the opinions of presidents, chief academic officers, and deans of admission at other colleges and universities. This is considered an indication of academic excellence. Mary Baldwin scored as high or higher than 90 percent of the schools in our category. Other criteria include retention rate, graduation rate, and the percentage of first-year students who were in the top quarter of their high school class.

U.S. News’section on “Programs to Look For” — innovative programs designed to enhance the college experience — affirms the value of The Mary Baldwin University Advantage, developed over the last two as part of the college’s 10-year strategic plan. The full sequence of 10 key experiences, many of which are included in the U.S. News list, will be in place by fall 2006.

In addition to the Residential College for Women, Mary Baldwin offers bachelor’s degrees through the Baldwin Online and Adult Programs. Graduate offerings include Master of Arts in Teaching and the Master of Letters/Master of Fine Arts in Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature in Performance (in partnership with the American Shakespeare Center). In addition to the main campus in Staunton, Mary Baldwin has five regional centers in Virginia.

To view the complete listing byU.S. News & World Report: www.usnews.com/usnews/edu/college/rankings/rankindex_brief.php

To view the complete listing byThe Princeton Review: www.princetonreview.com/college/research/regional/