Unity College has moved several spots higher on one of the nation’s premier college scorecards.

U.S. News & World Report ranked Unity College 15th best liberal arts college in the North for 2016-17. That’s 13 spots higher than last year, when the magazine rated Unity College No. 28 in that category, and 16 spots higher than in 2015, when Unity was rated No. 31.

Unity College also was recognized again this year as providing higher education that’s worth the investment. U.S. News moved Unity College up to the No. 6 position this year, up from No. 9 in 2016 in the “Best Value” category among its peers.

Unity College President Dr. Melik Peter Khoury called the U.S. News rankings “validation of the hard work we’ve been doing to create value for students, parents, and our alumni.”

“We are proud U.S. News recognized us once again for providing a great education that is well worth the cost,” Khoury said. “It’s the standard in college reviews, so we are grateful that a tiny school in central Maine caught their attention again this year.

“For a school that started with such humble beginnings, it feels good that we are increasingly being recognized for offering a powerful education — framed by sustainability science and grounded in the liberal arts — that serves our students well in the environmental century, in their first job or their fifth job.”

In its 32nd year, U.S. News is considered by many the benchmark among college rating systems. U.S. News publishes their methodology to show how they arrive at their rankings.

In another recent ranking, Unity College was listed among the Top 10 colleges nationally in two important categories — No. 10 for Food and No. 5 for Academics — in Sierra magazine’s recent list of “Cool Schools.

The U.S. News and Sierra recognitions come as Unity College welcomed 705 full-time-equivalent students this 2016-17 academic year, shattering its previous enrollment record of 638 full-time-equivalent students from Fall 2015 — a 10.5 percent year-over-year increase.

In addition to rolling out its first-ever graduate degree in 2016, the M.S. in Professional Science, Unity College has invested more than $20 million in student-facing infrastructure improvements on campus since 2013, and will unveil the two newest buildings supporting its residential experience on Sept. 23.

“More and more — whether it’s students, parents, counselors, or the rating services — people are coming to know Unity College as a living, learning laboratory of environmental sciences that is second to none,” Khoury said.

Friday, September 16, 2016