Sep 15, 2012

USNWR Discovers Hundreds of ‘A+ Schools for B Students’

Goucher College

Another valuable tool found deep within the pages of the newly-released USNWR “Best Colleges” guide is a great list of “A+ Schools for B Students.”
While attention inevitably flows to the main attraction, USNWR annually sends reporters out to locate colleges offering great academics to students with less-than-perfect high school records. 
Through this process, lists are collected from specialists all over the country and patterns begin to emerge based on the collective wisdom of those who routinely advise B and C students on the admissions process. 
These are folks who care about admissibility, supportive services, creative programming, freshmen retention, and graduation—all within the context of basic affordability.  They’re less concerned with rankings or prestige.
Once a master list is devised based on recommendations from school-based and independent college counselors, USNWR brings in the number crunchers. 
Schools that make it onto their lists must report a freshman retention rate of at least 75 percent.  They also had to admit a “meaningful proportion of non-‘A’ students." 
The latter computation is a little fuzzy because average GPA’s and standardized test scores don’t give a complete picture and aren't necessarily comparable or accurate.  Nevertheless, freshmen from these schools were not so much from the top 10 percent of their high school classes as they were from the top 25 percent.
The suggestion that these schools may be “ranked” is a little ridiculous, but USNWR gives it a try.  Still the fact that a school made it onto one of the lists means it may be worth investigating if you’re looking for colleges that respect and welcome the “B” student.
Local national universities that made the cut were George Mason University, UMBC, and Virginia Commonwealth University. Liberal arts colleges included VMI, Goucher, and Randolph-Macon, while local regional universities included Loyola University of Maryland, Towson University, and Salisbury University.

Here are some additional colleges and universities USNWR names “A+ Schools for B students” (in alphabetical order):
  • Baylor University, TX
  • Beloit College, WI
  • Carroll College, MT
  • Clark University, MA
  • College of Wooster, OH
  • Creighton University, NB
  • Drake University, IA
  • Drexel University, PA
  • Elon University, NC
  • Fordham University, NY
  • Furman University, SC
  • High Point University, NC
  • Hobart and William Smith Colleges, NY
  • Illinois Wesleyan University
  • Indiana University—Bloomington
  • Loyola Marymount University, CA
  • Marquette University, WI
  • Michigan State University
  • Mills College, CA
  • Ohio Northern University
  • Pepperdine University, CA
  • Providence College, RI
  • Purdue University, IN
  • Rochester Institute of Technology, NY
  • Rollins College, FL
  • Rutgers, NJ
  • Sewanee—University of the South, TN
  • Skidmore College, NY
  • Soka University of America, CA
  • St. Lawrence University, NY
  • Syracuse University, NY
  • University of Alabama
  • University of Delaware
  • University of Iowa
  • Wabash College, IN
  • Wheaton College, MA
  • Willamette University, OR
For more suggestions of colleges and universities that accept a significant number of solid students without perfect transcripts, visit the USNWR website.

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