SLU, Clarkson, SUNY Potsdam pleased with new U.S. News rankings
Wednesday, August 18, 2010 - 11:23 am

The U.S. News & World Report “Best Colleges 2011” is out, and St. Lawrence University, Clarkson University and SUNY Potsdam all seem pleased with their assessments.

Clarkson University and SUNY Potsdam both slipped down the list slightly, while St. Lawrence University continues its rising trend.

St. Lawrence pulled itself up to 55 in the liberal arts rankings, from 56 in the 2010 listing and 58 two years ago in the category of the 266 best, most prestigious liberal arts colleges in the nation. That ranking puts them in the top 20 percent of its peer group, the university says.

“As we prepare to welcome first-year students selected from the second-largest application pool in university history, we are pleased with yet another validation that St. Lawrence is one of the best liberal arts institutions in the nation,” said President William L. Fox. “Being in the top 20 percent of colleges in the nation is testimony to the achievements of our students, faculty, staff and alumni.”

Clarkson, still in the top tier of national universities, fell from 119 to 124, while its School of Business Supply Chain Management program is ranked 14th in the nation, as it was last year.

Clarkson is placed at 37th on U.S. News’s Great Schools, Great Prices list of 50 national universities ranked according to their quality to price ratio. In this short list, Clarkson educates the highest percentage of students who receive aid grants based on their financial need. The survey editors also placed Clarkson in the “A+ Options for B Students” list.

“Our inclusion as #37 on the Great Schools and the A+ Options lists reflects our history to make a Clarkson education affordable to all motivated students who want to bridge discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise,” said Clarkson University President Tony Collins.

Among best regional universities in the northern U.S., SUNY Potsdam was ranked at 91. It was at 85 last year.

This is the 12th consecutive year that SUNY Potsdam has been recognized as one of the high-quality institutions included in the Northern Regional Universities category.

Even though the admission to the SUNY Potsdam is becoming increasingly selective, the college says, SUNY Potsdam is set to welcome its largest first-year class in 28 years. After SUNY Potsdam became the first college in the State University of New York system to make standardized test scores optional for most prospective students last year, the college saw a 14 percent surge in applications. And more of those students than in the past made SUNY Potsdam their first choice.

Approximately 930 freshmen are expected to enter SUNY Potsdam this fall. That’s the biggest first-year class since 1982, and an 11.4 percent increase over last year’s incoming freshman class

The 2011 rankings, which include fewer than half of all colleges in the nation, are available at, and will also be published in the September issue of the magazine. The rankings have been compiled and published by the magazine for 27 years, grouping schools based on categories created by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Colleges are compared against their peer institutions on a variety of factors.

Among the factors weighed in determining the rankings, the key measures of quality are: peer and guidance counselor assessment; graduation and retention rates; faculty resources; student selectivity; financial resources; alumni giving; and graduation-rate performance.