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Drake excels in regional college rankings

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This past week, US News and World Report magazine released its US News Best Colleges 2013 rankings. Based on 2011 data, Drake University kept last year’s position as third in the Midwest Regional rankings.

Drake also placed tenth in the Midwest’s Best Value Schools division, making it thirteen straight years Drake has placed in the top ten of that category.

In its report, US News notes Drake’s 63 percent acceptance rate, the second most selective school in the Midwest. Drake’s 12-to-1 student to faculty ratio also ranked as one of the lowest in the region and the percentage of students in the top 25 percent of their high school class rose to 75 percent, up six percent from four years ago. Drake’s peer-assessed quality also ranked third in the Midwest and seventh nationally.

In a university press release, President David Maxwell applauded Drake’s commitment to academic excellence: “We strive to be one of the very best institutions of higher education in the United States and are delighted to be recognized for our academic quality. These annual rankings continue to reflect our efforts to provide the exceptional learning environment that we promise our students.”

Part of that exceptional learning environment is in the small class sizes, an aspect that was taken into great account by US News in their rankings.

At Drake, 51.9 percent of classes contain less than 20 students, 42.3 percent have 20 to 49, while less than six percent of classes have over 50 students. Student satisfaction also earned good marks, 87 percent of first-year students return for their sophomore year.

As for the most recent additions to Drake, first year students were mostly unaware of the prestigious ranking.

First-year soccer player Reilly Burns says she did not know about Drake’s standing before coming here, but “knowing that it was a good school was a good thing.”

First-year journalism student Anna Hess also had no prior knowledge of Drake’s high ranking, but was not surprised at the university’s high standing.

“The reason I chose Drake was because I loved all the opportunities that it offered me… everyone really emphasized how much Drake can do for their students… The students, along with the administration, take great pride in this school and that was something I wanted to be a part of,” Hess said.

Many students chose Drake for the same reasons as Hess, making it very easy to see why the university is so highly ranked. Drake’s continued inclusion in these rankings can only help promote the university’s standing as a top-tier learning institution.

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