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U.S. News recognizes Augustana for undergraduate teaching, best value

Rankings released today by U.S. News & World Report recognizes Augustana College as a top institution for undergraduate teaching among national liberal arts colleges. 

Augustana was the only Illinois school recognized in this category, which highlights schools for excellence in undergraduate teaching. Augustana moved up 19 spots, tying for 36th, along with six other schools among national liberal arts programs. Augustana tied with Colby College, Colgate University, Dickinson College, Earlham College, Hamilton College and Sarah Lawrence College.

Dr. Dianna Shandy
Dr. Dianna Shandy

Additionally, Augustana ranked 100th among national liberal arts colleges in this year’s rankings, in a tie with six other schools. This category includes institutions that almost exclusively focus on undergraduate education and award at least 50% of its degrees in the arts and sciences.

Augustana was once again recognized in the “Best Value Schools” category, earning the 67th spot along with only four Illinois schools included in this category.

Provost Dr. Dianna Shandy said Augustana is a relationship-rich institution with a long history of blending the traditional liberal arts with pre-professional programs. 

“We are an institution that teaches students how to learn. This prepares them to navigate the world and a future career that will be filled with many twists and turns."

Dr. Dianna Shandy

She said rising in the ranks as a top “undergraduate teaching” college recognizes Augustana’s faculty who always put students and teaching at the center of all that they do. Augustana maintains a 12:1 student-faculty ratio, and classes are taught by faculty, not graduate teaching assistants.

“We are an institution that teaches students how to learn,” said Dr. Shandy. “This prepares them to navigate the world and a future career that will be filled with many twists and turns. Augustana is always pushing itself to be at the forefront of meeting students’ needs and providing them with an excellent and relevant education.”

Dr. Shandy said this approach is reflected in new academic programs – including film, integrative medicine and medical humanities, and data analytics. She said Augustana students successfully complete multiple majors while participating in a breadth of co-curricular activities, such as arts, music and athletics, and still graduate within four years. 

In addition to offering 100 majors and related areas of study, Augustana is proud to award 183 Augustana Possible grants to first-year students enrolled this fall. The innovative new program meets 100% of demonstrated financial need for qualifying students. Augustana Possible removes financial barriers for high-achieving students with families with lower incomes to attend Augustana College, and many grant recipients are the first in their families to attend college.

“We are thrilled to be able to expand access to an Augustana education, which allows us to provide transformational experiences to even more students,” Dr. Shandy said. 

This is the 39th ranking edition issued by U.S. News. The 2024 rankings evaluated nearly 1,500 colleges and universities on as many as 19 measures. The complete rankings are available at


Nicole Lauer, 309-794-7645;

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