Carroll College places well in U.S. News and World Report ranking – Independent Record

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Carroll College President John Cech offers muffins and coffee for the first day of classes in front of the Campus Center.
Carroll College said Monday that its more than 20-year streak as one of the best regional colleges in the West by U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Colleges” ranking has continued this year.
“We are particularly excited to have returned to the top of the leaderboard for value,” said John Cech, president of Carroll College. “By recognizing that we provide the best value in our 15-state region, it affirms what we have always believed, which is that Carroll College provides the best return for your educational investment.”
For the previous 11 years, Carroll ranked first for “Best Regional College in the West.” This year, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University took the No. 1 spot, and Carroll ranked second. Cech noted in his weekly Carroll update email on Monday that the “rocket scientists at Embry-Riddle should enjoy their victory lap” because Carroll is looking for that No. 1 spot again next year. Carroll did rank first in “Best Value College in the West.”
According to Carroll’s website, the private institution’s 2022-2023 full-time tuition (12-plus credits) with room and board costs around $50,000 annually. However, after gift aid, that cost is cut in half to about $25,000 annually.
This brings the price into the range of public education costs. Montana State University’s in-state tuition, room and board is at $24,256 annually, and the University of Montana’s in-state tuition, room and board is at $22,258 annually.
“Accessibility is paramount to us. We do not want cost to be a barrier to higher education so we are proud to have put the resources in place to make Carroll an affordable choice,” said Cech.
Almost all students, 99%, receive institutional aid. Carroll also has the lowest loan default range in Montana. The college attributed job placement after Carroll as a main reason for this, with students’ median earnings around $53,000 annually upon graduating.
Carroll also placed second regionally for “Best Colleges for Veterans,” first for students in the top 25% of their high school graduating class, tied for first in first-year retention rate, second for graduate rate and third in alumni giving.
The “Best Colleges” ranking is an annual report of over 1,400 regionally accredited institutions based on 17 metrics of academic excellence such as retention, graduation rate, class size, student-faculty ratio, financial resources per student and more.
There are 266 colleges in the regional colleges category organized into four regions: North, South, Midwest and West. The West, which includes Carroll College, has 15 colleges.
The full rankings are on the U.S. News and World Report website.
“While it is certainly nice to be recognized by one of the premiere sources for college rankings, what we are truly proud of year in and year out is the exceptional academic experience we provide, the dedicated and accomplished faculty and staff we employ, and the bright, compassionate students we graduate,” said Cech. “Nothing changes from year to year in how we strive to live our mission and instill knowledge and goodness in our students, and desire to make Carroll College the very best Catholic, liberal arts college in the west.”
Megan Michelotti can be reached at

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Carroll College President John Cech offers muffins and coffee for the first day of classes in front of the Campus Center.
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