Augustana is one of Money’s ‘Best Colleges in America’

Money's Best Colleges list Augustana
An aerial view of Augustana College in Rock Island. CREDIT AUGUSTANA COLLEGE

Augustana College has been selected as one of the nation’s top liberal arts colleges on Money’s 2024 “Best Colleges in America” list, the university announced on Monday, July 8.

Money is a personal finance website owned by Money Group that was founded in 1972 as a monthly magazine. It analyzed 745 four-year colleges based on graduation rates, cost of attendance, financial aid, alumni salaries and more. Augustana earned a 4.5 star ranking in the 2024 list.

According to Money, its analysis is aimed at showing those top 745 colleges “based on graduation rates, cost of attendance, financial aid, alumni salaries and more. There isn’t one ‘best’ college for every student, but our star ratings can help you build a list of standout schools that fit your budget.” Money ranked the schools by 25 factors in three categories: quality of education, affordability and outcomes.

The website and list described the top-ranked Rock Island college and its campus this way: “Augustana sits on the edge of the Mississippi River in what’s known as the Quad-Cities metropolitan area. The private liberal arts college offers more than 100 majors and minors to its roughly 2,500 students, enabling them to study everything from graphic design to neuroscience to landscape architecture.”

The other Illinois liberal arts colleges named to the “Best Colleges” list included nearby Knox College in Galesburg; Wheaton College and Lake Forest College in the Chicagoland area and Illinois College in Jacksonville, Illinois. 

Iowa colleges that made Money’s “Best” liberal arts college list included Central College in Pella; Clark University and Loras College in Dubuque, Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Drake University and Grand View University in Des Moines; Grinnell College in Grinnell; Iowa State University in Iowa City; and Luther College in Decorah.

Find the complete national list of rankings here

Augustana great value

“We’re pleased to continue to receive recognition as a leading national liberal arts school that provides great value and an excellent educational experience to students,” President Andrea Talentino said in the Augustana College news release. “We know Augustana students are shaped by the engaged learning experiences provided by our skilled faculty and staff, which positions them to achieve their life and career goals.”

Augustana’s plan for guiding and preparing students is its strategic plan, Bold & Boundless. Its goals include prioritizing engaged learning, maximizing student potential, and connecting through partnership with the community by serving as an engaged presence in the region. 

Other recognitions received by the college include being ranked No. 100 in U.S. News and World Report’s 2024 ranking of best national liberal arts colleges. Other U.S. News and World Report rankings include: No. 36 in Best Undergraduate Teaching, No. 67 in Best Value Schools and No. 120 in Top Performers on Social Mobility. 

Augustana was also ranked No. 9 on The Wall Street Journal’s list of best liberal arts schools in the Midwest, which recognizes student outcomes, the learning environment and diversity. The college also was recognized for economic diversity by The New York Times and Augustana earned its fourth Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

More information about Augustana’s rankings and recognitions is available at

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