San Antonio – U.S. News Media Group today released the 2011 edition of Best Colleges, which includes St. Mary’s University ranked seventh in the West in the “Great Schools, Great Prices” category. The exclusive rankings, available online today at, will also be published in the September issue of U.S.News & World Report, on newsstands starting August 31.

This is the second national ranking that St. Mary’s has received within the past two weeks. On Monday, August 9, the Education Trust released their “Big Gaps/Small Gaps” list based on the graduation gaps between Hispanics and non-Hispanics at colleges and universities nationwide. With a 57.1 percent graduation rate of Hispanics and a 58.4 graduation rate of non-Hispanics, St. Mary’s University was identified on the “Small Gaps” list. St. Mary’s mean graduation rate of all students is 60.2 – placing it in the top ten of Texas schools.

“St. Mary’s is committed to making a quality education affordable and accessible,” said President Charles L. Cotrell, Ph.D.When students join our community, we provide them with the support and guidance they need to be successful in their academic pursuits. Our high graduation rate coupled with the value of a St. Mary’s education has consistently gained us recognition by U.S. News & World Report.”

“As soaring college costs make the decision more complicated than ever, U.S. News strives to provide students and families with the best information to help guide them through this process,” said U.S.News & World Report Editor Brian Kelly. “This year the challenge comes down to finding the right college – at a cost you can afford. The 2011 edition includes specialty rankings, online guides for admission and paying for college advice to help navigate your search.”

St. Mary’s is also ranked No. 19 in the West for academic reputation. This is the 17th consecutive year for St. Mary’s to appear in the first tier of colleges and universities listed annually by the national news magazine.

The formula used to determine which schools offer the best value, “Great Schools, Great Prices,” relates a school’s high academic quality to cost per student, as indicated by the U.S. News ranking. Thus, the higher the quality of the academic program, and the lower the cost, the better the deal is for a student receiving the average level of need-based financial aid. U.S. News has made some changes to the 2011 Best Colleges’ ranking methodology and presentation. This year, schools are designated National Universities, National Liberal Arts Colleges, Regional Universities, and Regional Colleges. St. Mary’s is in the Regional Universities category. Only the numerical rank of the top 75 percent of schools in each category will be displayed, up from 50 percent. Graduation rate performance is more heavily weighted.

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