Feeling 22: Rider moves up on U.S. News’ best colleges list

By Lauren Lavelle

Rider has once again found its way to the top tier of the U.S. News and World Report rankings. The university ranked number 22 on the list of Best Regional Universities. In addition to this, The Princeton Review has also included Rider in its “Best 378 Colleges” in the nation list.

“It’s great to see that Rider continues to be recognized as a top-tier Northeast institution,” said Jamie O’Hara, vice president for enrollment management. “US News is one of the better-known college rankings, and Rider has been recognized in the top 26 colleges and universities for the past five years.”

Ranked number 23 on 2014’s list, Rider moved up one spot.

“Two components improved that helped Rider increase from number 23 to 22 in the rankings,” said O’Hara. “The first was our six-year graduation rate which improved from 55 percent to 61 percent. The second was the percentage of freshmen that were admitted who graduated from their high school in the top 25 percent of their class. Last year it was 38 percent, this year it is 47 percent.”

While those numbers are impressive, O’Hara insists Rider does not base its performance on the opinions of others.

“We do not look to position ourselves in a way that will improve our rankings,” said O’Hara. “Our goal is to continue to do what we commit to every day, and that is to improve the Rider student experience. The rankings will reflect this commitment.”

Students like freshman dance major Helena Silano appreciate Rider’s diverse and hands-on learning environment. They also view Rider as a home where they can freely express themselves and their opinions. The university provides students with so many opportunities that the ranking is true and well-deserved, she said.

President Gregory Dell’Omo agreed.

“Rider University is a vibrant living and learning community,” he said.  “Our faculty, staff, students and alumni are justifiably proud of the quality of our academics, and I congratulate our community on our continued climb in the national rankings.”

O’Hara said that the efforts of many people contributed to earning the honor.

“Rider’s reputation, its dedicated faculty and staff, and most importantly, its terrific students and successful alums deserve the recognition of a strong U.S. News and World Report ranking,” said O’Hara. “The entire community works every day to improve the lives of our students. While rankings are not the reason we do this—it is nice when the University is recognized for its success.”

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