18. Check Out the Iconic Air Force Academy (copy) (copy)

The United States Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel is shown in this undated file photo.

The U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs ranks third among the nation's public liberal art colleges, according to U.S. News & World Report's annual rankings released Monday.

The academy is outranked by two other colleges, which also happen to be service academies: the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, and the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. The Naval Academy rose 11 spots to make the top 10 liberal arts colleges for the first time, according to a news release from the publication.

“We are honored to continue being recognized as one of the top universities in the nation," Lt. Col. Mike Andrews, an academy spokesman, said in a statement to The Gazette. "We’re very proud of our world-class faculty, and we continually strive to improve all facets at the academy — not only in providing a first-class education to our cadets, but also in developing leaders of character worthy of serving our nation in the Air Force and Space Force.”

The Air Force Academy ranks 28th overall among all national liberal arts colleges this year, up from 39th place last year. It also ranked third among public liberal arts colleges last year. Colorado College, also located in Colorado Springs, ranks 25th, up from 27th last year.

 “The liberal arts category has more than five hundred colleges nationally and it is an honor to be considered among the top 25," Mark Hatch, Colorado College Vice President for enrollment said in an emailed statement. "Furthermore, to be recognized for both innovation and excellence in teaching speaks loudly to our commitment to our students.”

The rankings have been released annually for more than 30 years in an effort to drive transparency in higher education. They take into account factors such as graduation rates, graduate indebtedness and social mobility indicators, according to the publication.


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