The Public Honors College

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Top Marks: St. Mary’s College Ranks High on New Best-Value Colleges Lists, 2014

March 5, 2014
Press Release #14-015


In addition to ranking the top 100 values among public colleges, private universities, and liberal arts colleges, Kiplinger’s recently revealed several new lists to help prospective students and their families narrow their search. According to the inaugural lists, St. Mary’s College of Maryland is ranked fourth on the list of 30 Best Values in Small Colleges and ninth on the list of 30 Best College Values in the Mid-Atlantic.  

Kiplinger’s began its first college rankings in 1998, placing a special emphasis on schools that combine outstanding education with economic value. St. Mary’s College has appeared on its list of top values in public colleges consistently since then. The new rankings complement Kiplinger’s existing rankings, using unchanged methodology that assesses quality based on a number of measurable standards, including admissions and retention rates, student-faculty ratio, four-year graduation rate, cost and financial aid, and low average debt at graduation.

“Our annual rankings focus on the best value schools, recognizing those that maintain academic integrity and standards while meeting the financial needs of their students,” said Janet Bodnar, editor of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. “This new tool allows students to select which qualities are most important to their decision, ultimately choosing the school that represents the best value for their specific needs.

“It’s easy to overlook quality options when faced with finding the best fit from more than 4,000 degree-granting institutions,” said Robert Long, managing editor of “Our goal was to create a starting point for students and parents to narrow down the choices and easily find and compare high-value schools that match their most important criteria.”

St. Mary’s College is one of only two public honors colleges in the nation. Dedicated to providing an affordable liberal arts education for a diverse student body, the college has the highest four-year graduation rate of any public college or university in the state. Within five years of graduation, 70% of its alumni pursue a graduate and/or professional degree. St. Mary’s College also boasts a 90% first-to-second year retention rate based on the fall 2012 class.

For more information about Kiplinger’s college rankings, visit the College Rankings special report.