Gustavus Ranked #20 Liberal Arts College by Washington Monthly

The College also stacks up as the best in Minnesota for social mobility and "Best Bang for the Buck."
Posted on August 31st, 2021 by

Gustavus Adolphus College has been named the #20 liberal arts college in the country according to Washington Monthly‘s 2021 rankings, which were released on August 30, 2021.

The publication takes a novel approach to college rankings, focusing on how institutions contribute to the public good through social mobility, research, and by providing opportunities for public service rather than more traditional metrics like wealth, exclusivity, and perceived prestige.

Gustavus is also the best in Minnesota for social mobility (#8 nationally) and #1 in the state for “Best Bang for the Buck” (#10 in the Midwest), which is “ranked according to how well [colleges] help non-wealthy students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices.”

“We’re proud to be an institution that gives talented students from all walks of life the opportunity to pursue a world-class liberal arts education,” Associate Vice President for Enrollment Kirk Carlson ’95 said. “We build the foundation for lives of leadership and service in society by making Gustavus financially accessible and surrounding our students with a network of faculty, staff, and alumni who are dedicated to their success.”

One of the key metrics that Washington Monthly examines to determine “Bang for the Buck” rankings is the percentage of students who are eligible for the Federal Pell Grant and their graduation rates compared to the overall cohort at an institution. Gustavus also tops the list of Minnesota colleges and universities with a graduation rate gap of only 1 percent between Pell and non-Pell students.

Through the Gustavus Acts Strategic Plan and the Show The World comprehensive campaign, Gustavus is committed to raising the funds necessary to meet 100 percent of demonstrated student need. To learn more about the College’s commitment to diversifying and expanding the Gustavus community to be even richer in racial, ethnic, geographical, social, and economic diversity, please read the Gustavus Acts 2.0 Strategic Plan.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin



  1. John Hasselberg says:

    Congrats to Gustavus for not only not at all losing its spirit and soul through these very challenging cultural and economic times but for actually enhancing and building upon them and its inspiring legacy!!

  2. Mark J. Matuseski, MD says:

    Congratulations. The college certainly helped me launch. Without it, most unlikely. Still maintain close friendships made fifty years ago.