Agnes Scott Celebrates Largest First-Year Class in its History, Rises in U.S. News & World Report Rankings

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Agnes Scott College welcomed the largest first-year class in its 126-year history this fall, providing a strong counterpoint to national discussions questioning the future of small liberal arts and women’s colleges. 

The first-year class of 272 students was the college’s second record-breaking class in the past five years.

In addition, U.S. News & World Report ranked Agnes Scott No. 20 in the country on its “Great Schools, Great Prices” ranking, up from No. 21 last year. The college ranked No. 67 overall among national liberal arts colleges, up from No. 73 last year, making it once again the highest-ranked liberal arts college in Georgia.

U.S. News also recognized the college for its diversity, naming Agnes Scott to its list of top schools for students interested in studying with people of different backgrounds from their own. In addition, the college was ranked No. 50 as a great school for veterans.

U.S. News’ “Best Colleges” compares more than 1,400 accredited four-year schools. Key factors weighed in determining the rankings are graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving, and ratings by administrators at peer colleges and high school counselors.

Among the factors that influenced Agnes Scott’s rising ranking were its graduation rate for the class of 2014, which was six percentage points higher than predicted by U.S. News, as well as its strong student academic quality, low faculty-student ratio, and high alumnae giving rate.

“Rankings are just one, and in many ways a partial and imperfect, measure of educational quality,” said Elizabeth Kiss, president of Agnes Scott. “And we’re also seeing a proliferation of college rankings. For instance, a new national ranking of liberal arts colleges, published at, recently named Agnes Scott to three Top 10 lists, for ‘accessible and approachable professors,’ ‘student satisfaction,’ and ‘student recommended.’ While no single ranking provides all the answers, we are pleased that Agnes Scott is consistently recognized by ranking agencies for offering both outstanding academics and excellent value.”  

“Institutional diversity is a great strength of the U.S. system of higher education,” added Kiss. “Different colleges have distinct strengths, and students need to look for the right fit. At Agnes Scott, we’re offering a unique college experience, SUMMIT, designed to prepare every student to be an effective change agent in a global society. Every student completes a core curriculum focused on global learning and leadership development and builds a personal board of advisors, including a career mentor. We think that many of today’s college students are looking for a robust and distinctive college experience and we’re excited that 40 percent of students in our record-breaking first-year class cited SUMMIT as a major factor in their decision to enroll.”

Agnes Scott College educates women to think deeply, live honorably and engage the intellectual and social challenges of their times. Students are drawn to Agnes Scott by its excellent academic reputation, exceptional faculty and metropolitan Atlanta location—offering myriad social, cultural and experiential learning opportunities. This highly selective liberal arts college is known for its diverse and dynamic intellectual community. Through SUMMIT, it provides every student, regardless of major, with an individualized course of study and co-curricular experiences that develop leadership abilities and understanding of complex global dynamics.