N.H. colleges among 'U.S. News' best

Several New Hampshire colleges and universities are included on this year’s U.S. News & World Report’s annual ranking of the top educational institutions in the nation.

Dartmouth College in Hanover placed in the top 10 of the news magazine’s Best National Colleges list — in ninth place, -a three-way tie with University of Chicago and Columbia University in New York.

“Dartmouth is one of the best schools in the country and ranked very highly in a very competitive group,” said Bob Morse, data research director for U.S. News. “It ranked highly across the board.”

Morse said the university’s reputation and alumni giving — at over $3 billion in endowments — were some of its strongest factors along with graduate retention. It also has one of the tightest acceptance rates, with only 17 percent of those applying admitted as well as one of the highest four-year graduation rates at 84 percent.

“While we see the recognition of our long-standing position as a top college and a leader in education, we feel students should make the choice of where to go for education on the best fit for them,” said Roland Adams, director of communications for Dartmouth.

The University of New Hampshire in Durham also took a slot on the Best National list, ranking 105th.

The report also included several regional and curriculum categories.

Keene State College, Keene, was ranked among the top 100 schools for best master’s programs in the northern region.

Colby-Sawyer College in New London and New England College in Henniker, placed solidly on the report’s list for Best Comprehensive College Bachelor’s Programs in the north, ranking 11th and 34th, respectively.

“Colby-Sawyer was a strong competitor compared to its peers,” said Morse. “While it has a high acceptance rate and student SAT scores are median, it does a very good job with its students. Its reputation and high graduation rates are its strongest factors.”

Excerpts from U.S. News’ Top Colleges report are available at www.usnews.com. — CINDY KIBBE

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