Anyone who's familiar with Centre College?

I’m an international student who got the offer from Centre College with a 20k dollars scholarship and it’s the first offer I got by now. So I was looking for info for this school and I was confused since while the rankings of this school is pretty good (#44 in National Liberal Arts Colleges by US News 2017) , the grading of it in Niche is just A- and the acceptance rate is almost as high as 70%. So I am a little confused now. Can anyone please explain why the acceptance rate is so high while the ranking is pretty good? (I somehow feel like there’s a conflict between them…is it just because there’s no conflict between them?) Or is it because of the poor location draws only a few people apply for it? Thanks so much!!!

By entering factors, Centre places quite credibly (107th) compared to all U.S. colleges and universities:

The location isn’t terrible, but anything in the middle of the country and/or the South attracts fewer applicants than do the edges of the country. The Northeast attracts more applicants. But that leaves opportunity in the middle.

Centre is a good solid school. Niche is self-rating and with self-ratings it’s nearly impossible to judge how accurate that is. Only the most motivated will go, most motivated for good and for bad ratings. Use it as rough guideline only. And you don’t even know who’s rating there! They may not attend the school!

Business insider is a questionable source at best. I would also take any rankings there as marginal in terms of accuracy. USN&WR ranks things based on inputs: what’s going into a school, not what’s coming out. The higher the SAT scores of applicants and the more applicants there are, the higher the USN&WR rankings (plus things like how many buildings etc. which is one reason why campuses have spent so much on buildings and tuition has gone up . . . .) Forbes attempts to rank according to OUTCOMES but that’s sort of impossible too, becasue those measures are also hard to nail down. Income after graduation perhaps? Well . . .some graduates at some schools go into engineering and business. Those schools get higher rankings as they make money right away. Other schools the grads go into non-profit work for human rights and social work, they may be excellent schools but that work makes less money. Their rankings may be lower then.

Rankings in general are problematic. What you want to do probably is ask if Centre has good quality programs that you’re interested in. If the answer is yes, then you’re good to go. It’s a solid school with a solid reputation. It also has stellar glass and ceramics program, uniquely, which you may want to take part in alongside your major.

I’ll check it out! Thanks so much!!

That’s extremely helpful and now I know what to do.
Thank you so much for your detailed answer!!
Have a good day:)

This inaccuracy seems to be a CC meme. BI, as sourced in post #1, hasn’t even performed a conventional ranking. They simply have reported schools by entering-student standardized scoring, with footnotes for incomplete data. The resulting list can therefore be useful for any prospective applicant who wishes, for whatever purpose, to see colleges and universities together by this factor, @Dustyfeathers.

@merc81 Point well taking. They are ranking, if I’m reading your info right, schools based on SAT scores, and maybe ACT.

That’s helpful as you said if you’re interested in attending the school that collects the highest numbers of perfect SAT scores. Well, you know, how helpful is that, really, for most people? Not useless, though.

In general, though BI to my mind is really clickbate and listcicles with a business slant. Again, not useless, but . . . useful . . . .? That’s also unclear. I

The article can certainly benefit from a refinement as to how it should be interpreted. That said, when removed from a values interpretation (e.g., higher surpasses lower), the list can be very useful as a statistical source in my opinion. In this case, Centre appears fairly highly in any event, so the article tends to reinforce a possibly excellent choice for the OP.

Have you read about Centre in Colleges that Change Lives by Loren Pope?
Check it out. Many of the schools on this list have higher than average acceptance rates. Good luck and congrats!

Chavia, I have a son at Centre who transferred from a top-30 national university where he was on the Dean’s list. He switched after his first semester and has never looked back. He, like everyone I’ve spoken with who’s gone, loves Centre. I went to Northwestern many, many moons ago. But watching the experience he’s had in college has made me rethink what college should be. It has made me a fan of small, liberal arts colleges, particularly for high achievers. My son has gotten opportunities that he would never have gotten at his former school, as good as it was. Classes are small and taught only by professors. The president is visible and knows the students by name. There is diversity of thought on campus. Students and professors generally tolerate different opinions, something that is falling by the wayside at many American universities today. He has only spoken highly of every professor he’s had. They will go the extra mile to help motivated students. For instance, my son put his math and science requirements off until his senior year. Both teachers went out of their way to help him succeed. You mentioned the A- ranking on Keep in mind that this ranking is based on many factors that may be irrelevant to you. For instance, athletics or campus food might be less important than value.

As for acceptance rate, I’ve given this one a lot of thought. My daughter is waiting for her college acceptances right now. Other than Centre, the majority of colleges she applied to are in the Northeast. One of the schools is slightly larger than Centre, has about the same grade point/test stats, has a lower ranking in most of the rankings, is about 40% more expensive, and yet, it’s acceptance rate is 35%. Go figure. I do think students self-select before applying. Because Centre is the strongest college in the state academically, it has a reputation for being very difficult. So, I suspect that the Kentucky students who apply are up for the challenge. Also, it really is remote. The closest city, Lexington, is still at least 45 minutes away. But unlike many schools that draw heavily from their own state, Centre doesn’t clear out over the weekends. The school does a good job of providing entertainment and activities. And though small, Danville is a beautiful town.

Grade deflation may also keep the applicant pool small. There is another thread on CC discussing grade deflation. A current student has an excellent post which I encourage you to find.

Congratulations on receiving such an impressive scholarship offer. In my biased opinion, that makes Centre an exceptional value.

KY is more conservative than the vast majority of states where you find top LACs. Looking at the top 50 LACs (US News), I believe only Centre (KY), Rhodes (TN), and Sewanee (TN) are in states that voted Republican in each of the last 3-4 federal elections. That hurts Centre’s drawing power, as most top LACs are in less conservative states in the Northeast and West, and let’s face it, most students interested in the liberal arts college experience are “less conservative” as well. Then you have to factor in the location of Centre/Danville within KY, plus it’s a small school even by LAC standards. It all adds up to difficulties for the administration to attract out-of-state students, even to apply, as indicated by the acceptance rate. Peer schools of similar size attract 40%+ more applicants.

The students that do attend, though, seem to have a wonderful, close-knit academic and social experience. As @pinkbulldog alluded to, the diversity of thought at Centre is an excellent reason in itself to consider the school. The deep political divisions within the U.S. certainly won’t be alleviated in the future when young people today – with plenty of them on CC! – scoff at attending an institution where they might have to consider positions/backgrounds significantly different than their own.

We visited Centre. My wife and I both loved it, but my daughter wasn’t interested at all.
Same for Sewanee. We both loved it, but she had absolutely no interest.

She’s a homebody, though. She’s willing to go a few states away, but I think the South is
just too far away, and too foreign for her.

It’s a shame because the prices are so much better down there.

@Chavia would you mind sharing your stats with me? I’m an international RD applicant requiring large aid.

My daughter will be attending Centre in the fall and I agree that the admission rate may have something to do with self-selection. Her stats had her a positive pre-read and more selective / well-known schools (Bowdoin, Hopkins, Oberlin) but she fell in love with the “charm” of the south. It’s not for everyone. While she loved the close knit, community feel, if you want to be out and about meeting new people every night it may not be the place for you. I’ve heard it described as Disneyland – too clean, too friendly – but that’s exactly why she loved it. @pinkbulldog - I am so happy to hear about your son and the feedback you’ve had from others!


Ohh that explains a lot! Thank you so much!

Sure. My SAT is 1420 with 680 in reading and 740 in math. And my TOEFL scored 105 (it’s for international students only tho). And I don’t have SAT2 score or AP scores, but the classes I took in school are all AP level. Hope it helps, sorry for late reply. Good luck!!

Aww I think I should book a plane ticket to visit it then haha! And your daughter sounds brilliant! Congrats! Maybe we’ll meet in Centre in fall haha.

Thanks so much for your information!!! That’s extremely helful!!! Congrats on your son enjoying the school and best wishes to your daughter’s applications!! Have a nice day! I can’t thank you enough:)

I’m afraid that you didn’t see my last post so I @ u again haha. Stats down below:
Sure. My SAT is 1420 with 680 in reading and 740 in math. And my TOEFL scored 105 (it’s for international students only tho). And I don’t have SAT2 score or AP scores, but the classes I took in school are all AP level. Hope it helps, sorry for late reply. Good luck!!