New York Times ranks St. Olaf among top colleges providing access

St. Olaf College ranks in the top one-third of schools included in the New York Times’ annual College Access Index.

The list of “Top Colleges Doing the Most for the American Dream” ranks schools based on their commitment to economic diversity.

In order to be included on the list, colleges must have a five-year graduation rate of at least 75 percent. Out of 170 schools across the country that qualified, St. Olaf placed 53rd.

The ranking is based on the number of lower-and middle-income students that a college enrolls and the price it charges these students.

Over the last several years most states have cut their spending on higher education, some drastically. Many public universities have responded by enrolling fewer poor and middle-class students, replacing them with affluent students who can afford the tuition.

St. Olaf has a long tradition of meeting the demonstrated need of all admitted students — a commitment that ensures the college will continue to attract and educate a diverse student body from a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds.

“In the past five years we have seen a 56 percent increase in the number of first-generation college students enrolling at St. Olaf,” says St. Olaf Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Chris George ’94. “Even with rising tuition costs, we continue to invest in our students through our financial aid program with a focus on reducing indebtedness while continuing to provide an experience that includes remarkable teachers, study-abroad programs, great facilities, and high-impact learning opportunities.”