More national accolades for Unity College

U.S. News & World Report ranks school high for value, veterans, overall excellence

UNITY, Maine — Unity College has been named one of the best regional colleges in America, one of the best regional colleges for veterans, and one of the best value colleges in its class by one of the nation’s most trusted college ratings services.

In its annual guide to the best US colleges released today, US News & World Report ranked Unity College No. 28 on its national “Best Regional Colleges” list and No. 9 on its national “Best Value Colleges” list among regional colleges. Unity College also was ranked No. 22 best school among U.S. regional colleges for veterans.

Other recent accolades include four national endorsements: one for innovative learning opportunities; another as one of the nation’s 32 “greenest” campuses; one as a Top 20 baccalaureate program in the US; and a fourth naming Unity one of America’s Top 100 “Cool Schools” for environmental commitment. (Details below.)

“It’s no accident Unity College’s popularity is on the rise,” Unity College President Dr. Stephen Mulkey said. “The world needs the knowledge and experience we offer our students.”

The school recently opened its 2015-16 academic year with its largest freshman class and largest overall enrollment ever. The Class of 2019 enters with an average high school GPA of 3.33 — up from 3.21 in the prior freshman class – and an average SAT composite of 1520 — up from 1503 in the prior freshman class. Applications for admission to Unity College have increased 138% since 2012: There were 477 applications in 2012, 536 in 2013, 855 in 2014, and 1,133 in 2015.

The school also recently celebrated an unsolicited $200,000 donation – its third-largest ever – and has built two new energy-efficient residence halls in the past two years.

“Our students enjoy an unparalleled academic experience that includes remarkable access to faculty, an outdoor research environment that’s second to none, an innovative, transdisciplinary curriculum, and campus life that’s as enriching as schools ten times our size,” said Executive Vice President and President-Elect Dr. Melik Peter Khoury.

“These rankings recognize that when Unity students graduate, they are prepared to be America’s environmental leaders,” Khoury said. “They are job-ready with the advantage of adventurous employment and internship opportunities while they’re here, and a manageable debt load when they leave.”

Unity’s popularity comes as enrollment stagnates at small, rural, private liberal arts colleges nationally. The number of liberal arts colleges, as traditionally defined, has declined, and in its July financial outlook, the investor research service Moody’s found one in 10 public and private colleges suffers “acute financial distress” from falling revenues.

“With three straight years of enrollment growth, dozens of new campus infrastructure improvements, and heightened interest in our unique curriculum from prospective students and the academic community, there’s never been a brighter point in our history,” Khoury said.

To view the listings, click here. To view the US News rankings methodology, click here.

Recent accolades

  • US News & World Report ranks Unity College No. 9 on its national “Best Value Colleges” among regional schools, No. 22 for veterans among regional colleges, and No. 28 on its national “Best Regional Colleges” list.
  • Unity College earned a national Colleges of Distinction designation in 2014–15 by “expanding innovative opportunities to earn college credit by participating in service learning, learning communities, internships, and other new educational paradigms,” according to the group Colleges of Distinction.
  • Using data from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, Unity College was lauded as one of the 32 “greenest universities” in the U.S. for achieving “the greatest level of success with green initiatives on-campus and within in its surrounding community.”
  • Washington Monthly ranked Unity College in the Top 20 U.S. baccalaureate colleges, recognizing schools based on their contribution to the public good in three broad categories: Social Mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students), Research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and PhDs), and Service (encouraging students to give something back to their country).
  • Sierra, the magazine of national environmental organization Sierra Club, named Unity one of its Top 100 “Cool Schools.”

About Unity College
Unity College proudly celebrates its 50th year in 2015. The first institution of higher education in the nation to divest from fossil fuel investments, Unity is committed to educating the next generation of environmental professionals. Sustainability science lies at the heart of its educational mission, with 16 environmentally focused undergraduate majors. For more information, visit unity.edu.

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