Top Catholic Colleges in U.S.

Forbes released its list of the top 100 colleges in the U.S. earlier this month; eight Catholic schools made the list, four of them Jesuit institutions.

Notre Dame ranked highest among Catholic schools at #18. Below are the Catholic higher education institutions that made the top 100, along with their ranking, location, annual costs and enrollments:


18 — University of Notre Dame, Indiana; $53,239; 11,816

26 — Boston College, Massachusetts; $54,624; 15,036

27 — College of the Holy Cross, Massachusetts; $54,432; 2,932

47 — Georgetown University, District of Columbia; $56,485; 16,520

67 — Santa Clara University, California; $53,742; 8,846

84 — St. Norbert College, Wisconsin; $37,392; 2,304

85 — St. Anselm College, New Hampshire; $45,705; 1,915

88 — St. Michael’s College, Vermont; $45,630; 2,466

You can view the Forbe's list here (h/t to CNS blog). A head's up to parents: A painfully high percentage of these schools are clocking in at the $50k or above level PER YEAR. Save your pennies (or opt for voluntary poverty so your college bound can coast through on scholarships).

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Beth Cioffoletti
6 years 9 months ago
I always feel a little guilty (or sad, or something) that my parents made a point to send my sister and I to Jesuit colleges but that I could not afford to do the same for my son.
6 years 9 months ago
Beth, please don't.  It's not your fault.   I'm sure when you went to college it was still affordable then.  When I went to a state college in my day I think I only paid a little over $250 for the year!!!!!!!
Brendan McGrath
6 years 9 months ago
Did Georgetown used to be ranked higher?  Or am I thinking of some other magazine's rankings?  I thought GU was in the top 25.
Chip Miller
6 years 9 months ago
I love that St. Norbert made the top 100.  My oldest attends SNC it it is such an awesome college.  SNC is still a true Catholic college, not Catholic in name like so many.  It's also the least expesnive school in the top 100.  
Brendan McGrath
6 years 9 months ago
...I just checked: US News and World Report, in the rankings for "National University,"  ranks Notre Dame #19 and Georgetown #21.  After that, here are the Catholic colleges I noticed, but there might be some other schools that I didn't realize were Catholic, etc.:

Boston College #31
Fordham #56
Marquette #75
St. Louis University #86
University of Dayton #99
Loyola University Chicago #117
University of San Francisco (Jesuit) also #117
Catholic University #120
Duquesne University also #120
University of St. Thomas #124
Seton Hall #136
DePaul University also #136
St. John's University #143
Immaculata University #176
St. Mary's University Minnesota #183

It looks like College of the Holy Cross is on the liberal arts college list rather than the "national university" one; on the liberal arts college list, it's #32.

By the way, on "Best Undergraduate Teaching," Notre Dame is #4.

Vince Killoran
6 years 9 months ago
I'm curious about "CM's" comment that St. Norbert's "is still a true Catholic college, not Catholic in name like so many." I take this as a conservative slam against "liberal" Catholic colleges & universities.

I like the school as well and know severl Norbertine fathers. They strike me as open-minded, well-educated folks, very much like the Jesuits.

p.s. Where is the Franciscian University of Steubenville in the rankings?!
Vince Killoran
6 years 9 months ago
There are only a handful of Norbetines on the faculty.
6 years 9 months ago
Notre Dame is still Catholic in many ways, but it is no longer a Catholic university under its own Mission Statement test of Catholic identity, i.e., a majority of committed Catholics on the faculty. It's the same test as set forth in Ex Corde Ecclesiae and the bishop's Implementation of Ex Corde (a majority "committed to the witness of the faith") Nominal Catholic faculty representation on the Notre Dame faculty has plummeted from 85% in the 1970's to 53% today, a large number of whom are non-practicing or dissenting. As long-time Prof Alfred Fredoso has memorably described today's Notre Dame, it is "something like a public school in a Catholic neighborhood." Still is is probably a lot more Catholic than most of the other major Catholic universities. This is not a matter of liberal or conservative. his is a matter of genuinely Catholic where it counts, who teaches and what they teach. 
Vince Killoran
6 years 9 months ago
Bill raises some important-and difficult-issues.  Many church-affiliated schools across the country face these issues including Protestant colleges and universities. I happen to think that gauging the level of "Catholicity" w/the proportion of Catholics on the faculty is the wrong way to approach it.

FYI, Notre Dame has instituted an aggressive affirmative action program for Catholic faculty.  See 


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