Richard D. L. Fulton

Photo Courtesy of MSMU

Mount St. Mary’s University was recently cited as one of the most beautiful campuses.

Mount St. Mary’s University (MSMU) was ranked as No. 1 among Maryland colleges and universities based on the percentage of full-time freshmen receiving Pell Grants.

Pell Grants are federal grants awarded to students from low and/or moderate-income families.

Additionally, MSMU was ranked as No. 28 in the top 10 percent of the 286 private and public colleges and universities accessed nationwide in the New York Times College-Access Index, according to Donna Klinger, executive director of Communications, Office of University Marketing & Communications.

The New York Times Magazine noted in their September 7 issue that the New York Times College-Access Index had ranked 286 “selective” colleges and universities in producing the scoring system, which included both private and public institutions. Those selected to be ranked collectively educate about 2.7 million undergraduates, according to the magazine.

Klinger stated that the index revealed that MSMU had enrolled 34 percent of first-year Pell Grant students in 2020-21, compared to the national average of 21 percent. Between 2011 and 2021, the Mount’s share of Pell students had increased by 6 percentage points, while the overall average decreased by 2 percentage points.

The increase resulted in the Mount ranking 23rd in the country for having the largest increase in Pell students.

MSMU President Timothy Trainor stated, “The New York Times study shows the economic diversity of the Mount student body among an elite group of colleges and universities. Our doors are open to students of all backgrounds, and our diversity is a valued part of the Mount experience,” adding, “The Mount has a long history of graduating ethical leaders who roll up their sleeves and excel academically before ultimately leading lives of significance in service to God and others.”

The College-Access Index measured economic diversity by analyzing the share of students receiving Pell Grants, using data reported by universities to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics. The list compared 286 of the most selective colleges in the country, defined by Barron’s Profiles of American Colleges and other metrics.

The New York Times Magazine stated, “Studying these numbers is particularly important in the wake of two important developments this year in higher education: the Supreme Court’s decision to do away with race-based affirmative action, and the decision by some schools to abandon or reduce legacy admissions.”

Klinger said that the College-Access Index “is one of several recent rankings received by Mount St. Mary’s, including several that measure value and social mobility, further noting that the university placed in the U.S. News & World Report rankings “as among the top regional universities in the North, as well as a best value school, a top performer on social mobility, and a best college for Veterans.”

Additionally, MSMU has been recognized as the sixth most beautiful college campus in the United States by College RoverTM, an online college information guide. The study looked at Yelp and TripAdvisor pages for the top ten colleges in each state, and then analyzed the number of reviews using the word “beautiful” and compared it to the total number of campus reviews. Sixty-six percent of the Mount’s reviewers mentioned the university’s “beauty,” according to Klinger.

In other MSMU news, the Mount executive director of Communications reported that Caroline Purcell has returned as Mount Saint Mary’s University Seminary’s ES coordinator from a year-long English Language Fellowship. Purcell spent her year-long U.S. Department of State fellowship “teaching undergraduate students and designing and selecting curricula and materials in the English department at An-Najah National University (ANNU) in Nablus, Palestinian Territories,” Klinger stated

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