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Columbia College ranked among "America's Best Colleges"
Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Fall session enrollment up 5 percent and online enrollment up 21 percent over 2005

[Columbia, Mo.]-Columbia College earned a top-tier ranking for the third consecutive year in U.S.News & World Report's 2007 edition of "America's Best Colleges." The college ranked 35th for the second consecutive year in the Best Comprehensive Colleges-Bachelor's category for the Midwest region.

Institutions included in the Comprehensive Colleges-Bachelor's category focus on undergraduate education and offer a range of degree programs in the liberal arts, accounting for fewer than half of their bachelor's degrees, and in professional fields such as business, nursing and education. The 2007 report ranks 320 comprehensive colleges within four regions: North, South, Midwest and West.

U.S.News & World Report determines its rankings by analyzing data in several areas, including peer assessment, freshman retention, class size, student-to-faculty ratio, student acceptance rate, graduation rate and alumni giving. Only schools appearing in the top tier in each category receive a ranking. Other tiers are listed in alphabetical order. Data provided for the 2007 edition of "America's Best Colleges" comes from the Day Campus at Columbia College.

"We are proud to be recognized once again for the high-quality education this institution provides," said Dr. Gerald Brouder, president of Columbia College. "In addition to the college's recognition among 'America's Best Colleges,' we also are pleased that our enrollment continues to increase in both quantity and quality."

The college experienced another year of record enrollment in its Online Campus with a 21 percent increase in online students compared to fall 2005. The college also saw a 13 percent increase in the number of graduate students as more of its Nationwide Campuses now are offering graduate degrees.

The Day Campus welcomed 1,037 students, surpassing last year's enrollment, which was the highest in decades. The continued increase in Day Campus enrollment also led to the highest number of residential students in many years at 366, which is at maximum capacity. Some students who sought to live on campus had to be turned away.

In-seat enrollments for the Evening Campus and Nationwide Campuses at Columbia College declined slightly as many of those students have decided to take online classes exclusively.

Overall, total enrollment at Columbia College for the fall session is up about 5 percent at 12,281 students. Annually, Columbia College serves nearly 25,000 students at its Day Campus, Evening Campus, Nationwide Campuses, Online Campus and Graduate Studies Program.

The incoming freshman class at Columbia College includes nearly 200 students. Academically, the class holds an average ACT score of 22.5, as well as an average grade point average of 3.1. This year's freshmen represent 11 states and 12 countries.

In addition, 157 students transferred to Columbia College from other institutions for fall 2006-a 15 percent increase from 2005.

The college was founded in 1851 as Christian Female College and was renamed Columbia College in 1970 when it became coeducational.