Bates continues to get high marks in college guides

August is peak season for college guides, and Bates continues to get high marks in them.

In the 2007 edition of U.S. News & World Report ‘s America’s Best Colleges, Bates is ranked 23rd among 215 national liberal arts colleges. The magazine says its rankings are based on peer assessment of presidents and deans, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources of the institution, alumni giving and graduation rates.

Among U.S. News’ subcategory lists of distinction are colleges whose graduates leave with the least debt. Bates is ranked 21st among national liberal arts colleges – and lowest among Maine’s private colleges – based on 46 percent of its students graduating with loans totaling an average of $13,636. Bates also is in U.S. News online lists for “great schools at great values,” lists that weigh quality against price and financial assistance, and in online lists citing excellent “undergraduate research/creative programs” and “service-learning programs.”

Bates is included in the latest edition of Princeton Review’s college guide The Best 361 Colleges, which went on sale Aug. 22. The Web site includes Bates in several sublists, including “Best in the Northeast” and “Best Value College.” It ranks Bates 20th in the nation for “Best Campus Food.” It lists Bates among 81 unranked “Colleges with a Conscience,” based on students’ “interaction with the surrounding community or pressing global, national, or local issues.”

The Princeton Review says that since Bates students are away from big-city pressures, they can afford the luxury of being “laid back and willing to take time to chat with friends over coffee, read the newspaper, go to plays, become engaged in the community and be active politically. Students value not only the academic experience they are offered at Bates, but take advantage of other fashions of learning.”

Citing student responses to surveys, the Review says that those seeking “a high-paced rigorous academic college with a low-key, laid-back, and fun student body and campus life” should consider Bates, a small liberal arts school that “focuses on students becoming critically and creatively thinking citizens of the world” through first-year seminars, mandatory senior theses, and a range of departmental, interdisciplinary, and student-designed majors.

In the September 2006 Washington Monthly college guide, Bates is listed 26th out of 202 liberal arts colleges. “Other guides ask what colleges can do for you,” the magazine says on its Web site. “We ask what are colleges doing for the country.” The Washington Monthly says its three primary criteria are that schools “should be engines of social mobility, they should produce the academic minds and scientific research that advance knowledge and drive economic growth, and they should inculcate and encourage an ethic of service.”

Bates is listed in the “most competitive” category of the 27th edition of Barron’s Profiles of American Colleges.

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