Leading Corporate-Owned News Magazines Heap Praise on SMCM - Southern Maryland Headline News

Leading Corporate-Owned News Magazines Heap Praise on SMCM

ST. MARY'S CITY, Md. (Aug. 21, 2007) - St. Mary's College of Maryland (SMCM) has been selected as one of "The 25 Hottest Schools in America" by Newsweek magazine and is featured in its 2008 Kaplan/Newsweek "How To Get Into College" Guide. The College was named "Hottest for Loving the Great Outdoors." The College's placement was announced Monday, Aug. 13 on NBC network's "The Today Show." SMCM also tied for first place with New College of Florida as the top public, traditional liberal arts college in the nation in this week's edition of U. S. News and World Report magazine.

The Newsweek "Hottest" list recognizes the growing reputation of the school and its achievements. The guide selected SMCM based on admissions statistics as well as interviews with administrators, students, faculty and alumni. Information is provided on each institution, focusing on the school's unique appeal and profile.

St. Mary's listing includes the following: "This state school on the southern shores of Maryland has all the advantages of a small liberal-arts college without budget-breaking tuition. The academically rigorous school also has deep ties to nature. St. Mary's 1,900 undergrads take advantage of being on the St. Mary's River. 'From sailing, swimming, fishing, beach bonfires, kayaking and crabbing to polar-bear swims, windsurfing, using a seine net for a bio class or just playing with the bioluminescent algae, the river is the single greatest stress reliever on campus,' says junior Shane Hall. The sailing team won two national championships this year."

Other schools selected for the "Hottest" list include Cornell, Harvard, Georgetown, Princeton, and Johns Hopkins. The 264-page guide will be available in bookstores on Monday, August 20.

Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions, a division of Kaplan, Inc., is a provider of educational and career services for individuals, schools and businesses. Founded in 1933, Newsweek provides coverage of national and international affairs, business, society, science and technology, and arts and entertainment. Kaplan and Newsweek are subsidiaries of The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO). Benjamin C. Bradlee, Vice President at Large, The Washington Post, also serves as Vice Chairman for the Board of Trustees for SMCM.

U. S. News and World Report magazine cited SMCM's high graduation rate and selectivity in finding SMCM to be one of the two top public, traditional liberal arts colleges in the nation. The percentage of freshman entering the College who were in the top 10% of their high school class increased from 34% to 46% and the 6-year graduation rate increased from 72% to 80%.

"The U.S. News and World Report ranking is noteworthy," said Maggie O'Brien, president of St. Mary's College of Maryland in a released statement, "as is our distinction in having the highest graduation rate among Maryland's public universities and colleges."

The College was judged one of the best of the 266 liberal arts colleges in the nation, of which only 27 are public. Liberal arts colleges emphasize undergraduate education and award at least half their degrees in the arts and sciences. Among all private and public colleges in the nation, SMCM was ranked 87, a move up of eight places in the magazine's ratings.

The only other public institutions to rank higher than SMCM on the magazine's list of "Best Public Liberal Arts Colleges" were some of the nation's military academies: the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and Virginia Military Institute.

Using a proprietary methodology, the annual U. S. News & World Report rankings represent a comprehensive look at how schools compare, say SMCM officials. Methodology is based on 15 widely accepted indicators of excellence, and help consumers evaluate and compare data compiled from more than 1,400 accredited four-year schools. An online and video guide to the report is available on the website www.usnews.com/.

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