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Ratings, Rankings and Relevance

Looking at national college rankings and data? Puzzled about what you're seeing – or not seeing – about Marylhurst?

We're hard to compare to other universities, because we're not like most other universities.

For most of our students, school is just one of many responsibilities in their lives. Very few come to us straight out of high school. They're working full- or part-time. They're raising families and caring for parents. They're homeowners. They're community volunteers. In short, they need college to work around their lives – not vice versa.

Who is a typical Marylhurst undergraduate student? (fall 2012 snapshot)

94% transfer credits from other colleges and universities
76% study part time (average course load is 9 credits per term)
54% take some of their classes online, and 29 percent study completely online
70% are women
34% are in their 20s
24% are in their 30s
21% are in their 40s

Marylhurst graduated more than 200 undergraduate students in 2012. So why do some national information sources report a low Marylhurst graduation rate?

Nationally reported graduation rates are based on the number of first-time, full-time college students who enroll in fall and graduate within five or six years.

About 95 percent of Marylhurst students are NOT first-time, full-time college students. 

They enroll year-round and usually transfer in credits from other institutions. And most Marylhurst students study part-time, not full-time.

This means our reported "graduation rate" is based on the experiences of a few students.

 Our students DO graduate; we've awarded more than 200 bachelor's degrees in each of the past three years. Rigid formulas just don't present an accurate picture of universities like ours that serve primarily non-traditional students.

Want an outside view ? Here's a 2013 summary from our congressional delegation and an analysis by national higher education reporter Amy Laitenen.

Marylhurst chooses not to participate in the U.S. News & World Report rating survey. Why?

Marylhurst University isn't eligible to be ranked because we don't use SAT or ACT scores as a determining factor in admitting students. We don't consider that a bad thing, because the U.S. News & World Report college rankings process isn't set up to measure universities like ours:

  • The survey focuses on schools serving students coming directly out of high school. Marylhurst doesn't have many of those students.
  • The survey measures graduation rates based on how many first-time, full-time freshmen complete their degrees in four years. At Marylhurst, that description of freshmen represents no more than 5 percent of our undergraduates.

Note: The information here pertains to our undergraduate population. Graduate student information is not included here.

Data gathered by the Office of the Registrar and the Office of Enrollment Management.

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