Misericordia University is ranked 41st out of 145 colleges and universities in the top tier of the Best Regional Universities North category of U.S. News & World Report's 2018 edition of Best Colleges, which includes institutions of higher education in the northern United States that offer master's degrees and some doctoral programs.
The annual report also named Misericordia a "Best Value'' institution of higher education, ranking it 24th among the Regional Universities North Schools. The added ranking, according to U.S. News & World Report, takes into account a university's academic quality, net cost of attendance and raking in the top tier. In addition, Misericordia University is in a five-way tie for 23rd place in the ranking for "Best Colleges for Veterans.''
U.S. News & World Report examined 187 colleges and universities overall in its Best Regional Universities North category – including 42 that are listed alphabetically in the second tier – and utilized performances across a set of widely accepted indicators of excellence to achieve its rankings. Misericordia is the second highest ranked institution of higher education in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
Misericordia University has climbed 26 places in the rankings since 2007. In the latest edition, Misericordia is included in a tight grouping with 12 other institutions of higher education that are separated by two points for the rankings of 34 through 41. Luzerne County oldest college and newest university is in a six-way tie for 41st place with 63 overall points.
"The Misericordia community is grateful for the national recognition that comes with these annual collegiate rankings,'' said Misericordia University President Thomas J. Botzman, Ph.D. "More importantly, we are excited about the possibilities that higher education affords everyone. Through our volunteer efforts, study abroad programs and rigorous academic programs, Misericordia fosters intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, and respect for people in an environment where all are welcome.''
For smaller regional institutions like Misericordia University, name recognition plays a negative factor in the rankings. Of the overall score, 22.5 percent is from peer reviews – surveys of other college presidents, academic deans and admissions counselors. Many are located far outside the region and might not know Misericordia as well as they should.
More important data elements, such as graduation rate (74 percent), classes under 20 (46 percent), student-faculty ratio (11 to 1) and alumni giving rate (16 percent), for example, have Misericordia matching or exceeding other highly ranked colleges and universities.
In addition, Misericordia University is on MONEY Magazine's 2017-18 Best Colleges list, the second highest ranked college or university in Luzerne and Lackawanna counties. Misericordia earned a ranking of 261 out of the 711 schools listed, climbing 222 places in the national ranking since 2015. Several data elements earned Misericordia its lofty status, including 99 percent of students receiving financial aid; a 71-percent acceptance rate; an average SAT score of 1070 and 24 for ACT, and an average annual salary for graduates of $45,300 within five years of graduation – a figure that has increased from $40,600 in 2015.
The Princeton Review also recognized Misericordia University as one of the top colleges and universities in the northeastern United States, based on excellent academics and the results of a survey of students on their campus experiences as well as how they rated various aspects of their college life.
Misericordia University biology major Hunter D. Pates of Columbus, N.J., recently participated in the Misericordia University Summer Research Fellowship Program. His research project led him to Mordecai and Money Islands in Ocean and Cumberland counties in New Jersey to study two different shoreline erosion prevention-restoration projects and the impact erosion has on the fiddler crab population.