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8/20/04

Westminster College Achieves Decade of Distinction In U.S. News & World Report

Westminster also named "Best in the West" by Princeton Review this week

Salt Lake City (August 20, 2004) -- U.S. News & World Report announced today that for the 10th consecutive year, Westminster College has been ranked as a top tier institution in its annually published guidebook which highlights America's top colleges and universities. This ranking is based on a weighted average of up to 15 different indicators of academic excellence.

For 2005, Westminster was named a "Great School at a Great Price" among universities in the West which offer a master's degree. This rating was based on an institution's ability to offer a quality education at a reasonable cost.

"I am pleased that for a ten years running, Westminster has continued to achieve national recognition for our deep commitment to student success and the challenging, supportive and unique learning environment that we offer," said Westminster College President, Michael Bassis.

U.S. News & World Report encourages families to use the report as a starting point in developing and honing a list of suitable colleges for their college bound children to attend. The report is intended to evaluate a college's academic, student body, faculty and financial resources.

In addition, this week for the first time ever, The Princeton Review included Westminster College in its list of the best colleges in the Western United States for 2005. Princeton Review Publisher, Robert Franek remarked, "This year, PrincetonReview.com features student opinion data from a total of 708 schools. Westminster College of Salt Lake City is one of 134 schools on the site receiving our Best in the West designation. We believe the newly surveyed schools on this site uphold the standards of our Best Regional distinction and provide students with a wider breadth of excellent schools to consider."

Regarding the Princeton Review accolade, President Bassis remarked "For a student-centered institution like Westminster, we are particularly proud of the many positive comments our own students made in The Princeton Review surveys which determined our ranking."

The quotations below include some of the comments made by Westminster students regarding academics and campus life and published on PrincetonReview.com:

Academics - Students agree that the best thing about Westminster College, a small independent liberal arts school in the heart of Salt Lake City, is "its small size. This allows students to form strong friendships, and to at least be able to say 'Hi' to most people, and it allows the faculty to get to know students individually. It really makes Westminster its own community."

As one student notes, "The small class size is absolutely unbeatable. I receive one-on-one interaction with my professors on a regular basis, which improves my ability to learn and retain the new information." Small classes allow for a high discussion-to-lecture ratio, students report approvingly; writes one, "We have a lot of in-class discussions which is nice because you can learn as much from a student's thoughts and ideas as you do when a professor is lecturing."

Agrees another, "I like the emphasis on learning to think through concepts and ideas myself rather than simply accepting someone else's perspective. My ideas and opinions have been challenged, and I've learned to back them up."

Campus Life - Westminster undergrads agree that "there's always something to do," either on campus or nearby. As one student told us, "There's rock climbing on the weekends, skiing at some of the best courses in the world, yoga classes (free for students) both day and night, cultural events to celebrate diversity, a lecture series on all manner of topics, a poetry series with the finest of contemporary poets, campus newspaper, a stellar literary magazine...our motto seems to be 'I will not be bored; I will not be boring.'"

The school's many clubs and organizations "offer instant social support groups and fun weekend plans," while those who decide they just want to kick back and relax can happily chill at home, because "The residential village is so nice. It's nice to be in an apartment with my own room but also have a full kitchen and a bathroom that I only share with one other person."

Westminster College, founded in 1875, is a private, comprehensive, liberal arts college dedicated to students and their learning. Impassioned teaching and active learning are the hallmarks of the Westminster experience. The college prepares its students for success through a strong foundation of liberal education combined with cutting-edge professional programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Located where the magnificent Rocky Mountains meet the vibrant city of Salt Lake, Westminster blends classroom learning with experiences presented by its unique location to help students develop skills and attributes critical for success in a rapidly changing world. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks Westminster in the top tier of regional colleges and universities in the West, and as an excellent educational value. For more information, visit www.westminstercollege.edu.