Holy Cross Rises to #33 on U.S. News’ Ranking of National Liberal Arts Colleges

College’s alumni giving rate remains among Top 10 in the country.

In its annual set of college rankings, U.S. News & World Report has ranked the College of the Holy Cross 33rd among national liberal arts colleges, noting significantly improved performance on measures related to student outcomes. The College was 35th on the same list last year.

Holy Cross’ 37.3% alumni giving rate—measured via a two-year average by U.S. News—was the seventh-best in the country.

Among the factors accounting for the rise in the College’s ranking this year were significant improvements related to student outcomes. In particular, the College’s six-year graduation rate (an average of four years of classes) was 92%, and its first-year student retention rate (also a four-year average) was 93%, which together represented the 10th-best graduation and retention rates in the country. 

The College also improved significantly in U.S. News’ social mobility category, which aims to measure an institution’s success at graduating Pell Grant recipients, who come from low-income backgrounds. 

“While we don't believe college rankings can ever fully assess the quality of an institution, we know they are one important factor in families’ consideration of colleges, and we are gratified that the rankings reflect not only Holy Cross’ continued excellence, but also an exciting positive momentum for the College,” said Cornell B. LeSane II, vice president for enrollment management.

In late August, the College welcomed to campus the class of 2026. Applications for this year’s class were 8.3% higher than those for last year’s class, and more students said yes to the College’s offer of admission (even more than predicted), resulting in an enrolled class 10% larger than fall 2021.  

Among other national college rankings, Holy Cross recently ranked 5th among Money Magazine’s “10 Best Liberal Arts Colleges,” which assesses schools based on affordability, quality and career outcomes.