Moonshot takeoff: Trinity debuts at number 55 in National Liberal Arts ranking


Kate Nuelle

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In January 2022, Trinity University successfully petitioned the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education for reclassification as a Baccalaureate Arts & Sciences institution. With this reclassification, Trinity moved into the category of National Liberal Arts in “U.S. News and World Report,” which provides annual Best Colleges rankings within each category. In its first year as a National Liberal Arts College, the university debuted at no. 55 in new rankings released this past Monday.

This ranking places Trinity in the top third of liberal arts schools in the country, a major feat for a school part of the mere 10% of national liberal arts colleges located west of the Mississippi River. Trinity is the highest-ranked Texas school in this category and shares its rank with four other institutions, including Centre College (KY) and Rhodes College (TN).

According to President Vanessa Beasley via video statement, his new classification has already added value to a Trinity degree, and placing so highly further invites national attention and respect. Trinity’s high placement is owed to the dedication of not just students, but faculty, staff and alumni as well. Trinity’s elevated national profile could allow the institution to grow its resources to better serve students and faculty and to increase its affordability.

Though this ranking is exciting, Beasley encourages Trinity’s students, faculty and staff not to focus solely on the numbers. “I view this ranking as a means to an end. Ultimately, our goal is to prepare our students for success on campus and after graduation,” Beasley wrote in an email newsletter. “This metric is one way to measure how we’re doing compared to our peers.”

Beasley views this ranking as a sign of great things to come. Ending her video statement, Beasley said, “As some of you have heard me say, there’s always a next level. The momentum we feel today will propel us even further as we thoughtfully write our next chapter together.”