(ATCHISON, Ks.) An area college earned some national recognition, falling on U.S. News and World Report's top 10 "America's Best Colleges" list for 2019.
Benedictine College released Monday that the school had jumped three spots to claim the number 10 position on the list in the Midwest Division of Best Regional Colleges.
"We're pretty happy with being in the top ten," Stephen Minnis, president of Benedictine College, said. "It's very hard to move up in that category. There are some very good schools in our category and very good schools in the top ten."
The listing also made them the highest-ranked Catholic college in the division, along with earning the number one school for alumni giving, recognition as a Best Value College and a top school for Pell Grant recipients (under $50,000 family income students) to succeed.
Minnis said the ranking is historic for Benedictine, having only been ranked number 76 on the same list just 10 years ago.
"It's an incredible story for our faculty and our staff here at the college, and I'm hoping that they're as proud as I am at the work that they've done to take us to this new level that we never expected to be at," Minnis said.
Since 2009, the college has built nine new residential halls and six new academic buildings. They've also earned full ABET accreditation for their mechanical, chemical and civil engineering programs, as well as expanding its nursing school and architecture program.
"You get such a great base knowledge and curriculum and education to send you out into the world," Maggie Tynan, economics major at Benedictine, said.
However, the school's 2019-2020 accomplishments don't stop there. President Minnis announced a possible record-breaking enrollment this fall semester.
Preliminary numbers show over 500 incoming freshmen, and over 1,925 students in overall enrollment.
"We're a very mission-driven place and so our mission is always to educate our students within a community of faith and scholarship," Minnis said. "So, the commitment to the mission has really taken us to levels that really were beyond our comprehension."
The college said enrollment has doubled over the past 10 -15 years making them the largest private college in Kansas, according to the Kansas Independent Colleges Association.