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MONEY Magazine Ranks MSMU #3 "Most Transformative"

The University also ranked #6 for best small, private colleges in the western region

September 4, 2020

LOS ANGELES (SEPT 4, 2020) — MONEY Magazine has just released its annual “Best Colleges” ranking of higher education institutions in categories that measure different parameters of success. 

The Mount's supportive environment enables students to reach their full potential.
The Mount's supportive environment enables students to reach their full potential.

Mount Saint Mary’s University, Los Angeles was awarded the third spot on the “Most Transformative” list nationwide, behind San Jose State University and Maine Maritime Academy. In deciding the ranking for this category, the study examines how well students perform in areas including graduation rates, post-graduation earnings and ability to repay student loans. Colleges and universities appearing on this list are recognized for providing their students with the ability to perform beyond expectations.

“We are grateful for this recognition that affirms the Mount’s commitment to a transformative educational experience, one in which we ensure that our students leave fully prepared to succeed in their careers,” says Ann McElaney-Johnson, PhD, president of Mount Saint Mary’s. “And we are so proud of our students as they continue to demonstrate resilience, focus and a deep commitment to their education, even in these incredibly challenging times.”

Mount Saint Mary’s also ranked #252 of “Best Colleges” nationwide out of the 739 that qualified for Money’s ranking system and #47 in the western region (Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California and Nevada) in that category. Additionally, the Mount obtained a #6 ranking for best small, private colleges in the western region behind Cal Tech and four of the five colleges from the Claremont College consortium (Pomona, Claremont McKenna, Scripps, and Harvey Mudd, respectively).

In order to be considered for MONEY’s rankings, colleges needed to have graduation rates that were at the median or higher for its category (e.g., public or private) and were higher than expected for institutions with student bodies of equivalent test scores and socioeconomic backgrounds. Institutions also could not have two or more signs of financial instability according to measures determined by the magazine’s researchers.

The qualifying colleges and universities were then ranked on 26 factors in three categories: 

Mount Saint Mary’s University garnered a high national ranking in one category and a top-10 ranking overall in the western United States.
Mount Saint Mary’s University garnered a high national ranking in one category and a top-10 ranking overall in the western United States.

Quality included a six-year graduation rate as well as the number of Pell Grant recipients who graduate as an indicator of the support low-income students receive from their institution. 

Affordability indicators included both the short-term cost after factoring in financial aid and how long it takes to graduate, as well as long-term student loan default and repayment rates.

Outcomes examine the socioeconomic background of a student body, how available programs of study influence graduates’ earnings above that of the median earnings of people with only a high school education, and the proportion of alums who are not working or pursuing graduate degrees a decade after starting their undergraduate studies.

In past years, results from the three categories were weighed equally in the study. However, with the economic situation for many students and their families being affected in light of the pandemic, Affordability was given 40% of the weight in the study’s calculation, with the remaining 60% divided equally between Quality and Outcomes. 

About Mount Saint Mary’s University
Mount Saint Mary’s is the only women’s university in Los Angeles and one of the most diverse in the nation. The University is known nationally for its research on gender equity, its innovative health and science programs, and its commitment to community service. As a leading liberal arts institution, Mount Saint Mary’s provides year-round, flexible and online programs at the undergraduate and graduate level. Weekend, evening and graduate programs are offered to both women and men. Mount alums are engaged, active, global citizens who use their knowledge and skills to better themselves, their communities and the world. msmu.edu