Thursday August 17, 2006

Top Tier

The University of Dayton again has been ranked as a top-tier national university.

The University of Dayton again has been ranked as a top-tier national university in U.S.News & World Report's 2007 edition of America's Best Colleges.

UD ties for 105 among 248 universities nationally that offer a wide range of undergraduate, master's and doctoral degrees. Among national Catholic universities, it ties for seventh. Among national private universities, it ties for 55th.

According to the rankings, the University of Dayton excels at retention and graduation of students. Nearly nine out of 10 first-year students (87 percent) return for their sophomore year. UD's graduation rate of 79 percent is well above the national average. Roughly half of all first-year students enrolled in four-year institutions fail to earn a degree within six years, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Classes are small — only 4 percent of UD's classes enrolls 50 or more students. Nearly one out of four alumni (24 percent) supports their alma mater financially. That places UD fourth among national Catholic universities, behind the University of Notre Dame, Georgetown University and Boston College.

"The University of Dayton's reputation as an academically excellent university with a rich religious tradition continues to attract students from Ohio and all over the country," said Fred Pestello, provost and senior vice president for educational affairs. "It's affirming to be recognized for academic quality in various college guidebooks, but we always urge parents and prospective students to visit campus for a true sense of what makes this university distinctive in higher education."

In the past year, UD has been recognized in three other publications. It is one of 10 religiously affiliated colleges nationally that excels at helping students "find purpose and meaning in life," according to the 2005 book, Putting Students First: How Colleges Develop Students Purposefully.

The 2005 National Survey of Student Engagement found that nearly all University of Dayton undergraduates surveyed (94 percent) consider their educational experience "excellent" or "good." No buyer's remorse: 92 percent of seniors say they'd attend UD if they had to start all over again. Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) worked with faculty on projects other than coursework, and nearly seven out of 10 (68 percent) engaged in service-learning or other community-based projects.

The University of Dayton is also featured in the 2006 edition of The Best 361 Colleges: The Smart Student's Guide to Colleges published by The Princeton Review. The book describes UD as a midsize Catholic school that, in the words of one student, "is all about community: community when we study, community when we party, community when we are doing service, community when we pray." Echoed another student: "You are welcome from the very moment you step foot on campus."

The word is out among high school students shopping for a college. In the past 10 years, UD has nearly doubled its applicant pool for its first-year class, according to Rob Durkle, director of admission. The University received a little less than 5,000 applications in 1996 and just over 9,000 in 2006. It has recorded record applications for five straight years.

Contact Rob Durkle, director of admission, at 937-229-4411.