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Trinity’s USNWR Rankings Reflect Commitment to Innovation, Value
2024 U.S. News & World Report data helps align University’s focus on student success

Trinity University has received its second-ever U.S. News & World Report (USNWR) ranking as a national liberal arts college, and there are no surprises. Trinity remains in the top third of liberal arts colleges and universities in the country, with an overall ranking of No. 59. The University tied with three other institutions for the No. 59 spot: St. Lawrence University in New York, Wabash College in Indiana, and Wofford College in South Carolina.

“We were aware that U.S. News & World Report was making significant changes to its methodology this year, and we knew that would likely have an impact on our ranking,” says Megan Mustain, Ph.D., provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. “For example, the previous rankings rewarded small class sizes, something we value at Trinity, and this year’s rankings did not consider that in the methodology.” 

Even with the new methodology, Trinity is on track to garner more national recognition in the near future. "In tracking data from 2017 and beyond, we anticipate a healthy uptick in the rankings for a number of years to come,” says Eric Maloof, vice president for Enrollment Management. “USNWR uses six years' worth of reported data in their methodology. This means they included data from 2022 back to 2016, before our numbers began to improve significantly.”

These improvements are due in large part to Trinity’s commitment to student success while increasing the amount and availability of donor-funded financial aid. “Our faculty and staff are engaging in really important work that promises to make significant inroads in student success,” Mustain says. “We’re laser focused on student retention, seeing the whole student through to graduation and supporting students through donor-funded aid. In turn, we’re continuing to build a culture of belonging, ensuring every student has the resources they need to have a meaningful and productive Trinity experience.”

Dedication and commitment like this requires inquiry and innovation—something the USNWR rankings have concretely recognized Trinity for this year. Trinity moved up 32 positions in the “Most Innovative Schools” category, from No. 51 in 2023 to No. 19 in 2024. Additionally, the University made the Top 50 list of “Best Value” national liberal arts colleges this year, coming in at No. 47. 

Other ranking platforms have noticed this commitment, too; many of these programs use more recent data from the U.S. Department of Education. Niche, the go-to ranking resource for many high school students and high school counselors and advisers, named Trinity the No. 19 liberal arts college in the nation in its 2024 rankings, up 12 positions from 2023.

As always, even as Trinity garners national attention through myriad ranking programs, the rankings themselves are not the end goal.

“External rankings help us measure how well we are preparing our students for success on campus and for life beyond Trinity,” says Vanessa B. Beasley, Ph.D., Trinity University president. “While here, our focus is on the total development of our students academically, physically and mentally. And once they graduate, 98% of our students are securing a job or placement in a graduate program within six months of graduation.”

The University already offers an education unique to this region: While more than 90% of the nation’s liberal arts colleges are east of the Mississippi River, Trinity is one of three national liberal arts colleges in Texas and one of only a dozen in the Southwest. Trinity has called San Antonio home for more than 75 of its 153-year history, and the University is proud to be part of a fast-growing urban community with demographics that mirror the future of the United States.

Trinity’s student body increasingly reflects these demographics as we strive ever forward toward the University’s value of intentional inclusion. With a 28% admit rate for the Class of 2027, more than 49% of enrolled students in that class are U.S. students of color. Overall, Trinity’s 2,570 undergraduates come from 47 U.S. states and 40 countries across the world.

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