Bethel College earns high positions in national rankings

The Newton Kansan
Bethel College stayed in the Top 15, the highest at No. 14 of any Kansas college or university in the Washington Monthly annual list "Best Bachelor's Colleges."

Bethel College stayed in the Top 15, the highest at No. 14 of any Kansas college or university in the Washington Monthly annual list “Best Bachelor’s Colleges.”

Washington Monthly rankings measure four-year institutions based on contribution to the public good in three broad categories: social mobility, research and service.

“(The) new rankings are especially important now,” write the editors of Washington Monthly’s annual college issue, “with mass unemployment, the inequalities exposed by COVID-19, and the nationwide protests against racial injustice.”

“Bachelor’s Colleges” are those that award almost exclusively bachelor’s degrees. Bethel was No. 14 out of 250 schools ranked.

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Bethel also earned accolades from the annual “Best Colleges” issue published by U.S. News & World Report.

In the list of “Best Regional Colleges Midwest,” Bethel lands at No. 26 among schools that award mostly bachelor’s degrees and are located in the 12-state region that covers Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Bethel also shows up on some more specialized lists within that regional ranking.

It appears at No. 11 for “Best Undergraduate Teaching,” No. 31 among “Best Value Schools” and No. 38 for “Top Performers in Social Mobility.”

“Best Undergraduate Teaching” recognizes institutions with a strong commitment to teaching undergraduates over conducting graduate-level research.

In a survey conducted in spring and summer 2020, the schools on this list received the most votes from top college administrators for putting a particular focus on undergraduate teaching.

“Best Value Schools” is based on a calculation that considers academic quality plus the 2019-20 net cost of attendance for a student who received the average level of need-based financial aid. The higher the quality of the program and the lower the cost, the better the deal.

Only schools ranked in or near the top half of their categories are included, because U.S. News considers the most significant values to be colleges that are above average academically.

“Top Performers in Social Mobility” puts Bethel among those schools U.S. News considers “more successful than others at advancing social mobility by enrolling and graduating large proportions of (economically) disadvantaged students awarded with Pell Grants.”

In addition to academic reputation, faculty resources, financial resources and social mobility, the U.S. News rankings also take into account graduation and retention rates, student selectivity for the entering class (high school class standing, for example), alumni giving and graduate indebtedness.

Rankings can be explored in more detail by going to