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Widener Named to Wall Street Journal List of Best Colleges

The Wall Street Journal has placed Widener University on its inaugural list of top U.S. colleges, which narrowed the nation’s more than 4,700 schools down to the 500 best, based on a host of criteria that included engagement, resources and career preparation.

The university was ranked 252 on the list of schools published in the newspaper’s print editions and online. The newspaper undertook the rankings project in collaboration with Times Higher Education, a business entity once owned by News Corp, parent of Dow Jones & Co., which owns the Wall Street Journal.

Rankings were based on four categories: school resources, engagement, outcomes and environment. The analysis included a survey of 100,000 college students as well as an examination of things like student-to-faculty ratios, costs, salaries 10 years after entering the school and more.

In addition to the ranking, the newspaper gave Widener a score of 8.7 out of 10 on a question that asked students whether their Widener education will prepare them for their careers.

The results are similar to outcomes Widener has seen on other national surveys, including the National Survey of Student Engagement published last year. It showed 90 percent of Widener seniors rated their overall Widener experience as “excellent” or “good.” Widener students’ satisfaction with their education is also six percentage points higher than the norm at four-year private colleges and universities in the eastern region of the United States, based on results of the Noel Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory from this year. And Payscale has ranked Widener among the top 20 percent of universities nationwide on the basis of alumni median salary.

The Wall Street Journal rankings come on the heels of another listing by U.S. News and World Report, which ranked the university 183 in the category of national universities. The magazine placed Widener’s undergraduate engineering program among the top 100 in the nation among those universities without engineering doctoral programs.

“It is gratifying to see Widener selected for inclusion on these lists, published by news organizations that are household names,” said Widener President Julie E. Wollman. “Widener offers an outstanding academic experience, marked by close personal attention and extensive opportunities to engage in hands-on learning and leadership development. We are a best choice.”

Widener University is a private, metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener comprises eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees. Visit the university website,