The Economist recently released its first-ever rankings of American colleges and universities, titled “The Value of University,” and Montreat College ranked an impressive 5th among the 48 North Carolina-based schools included, and 9th among the 103 schools included from the Council of Christian Colleges & Universities. Overall, Montreat College was ranked in the 89th percentile—meaning it was ranked ahead of 89% of the 1267 American colleges and universities included in the rankings.

The Economist‘s rankings are unique in that they reflect a comprehensive attempt to assess the financial impact of each school’s education on its graduates. According to its website, “The Economist’s first-ever college rankings are based on a simple, if debatable, premise: the economic value of a university is equal to the gap between how much money its students subsequently earn, and how much they might have made had they studied elsewhere.”

Using a comprehensive statistical formula, schools are ranked according to how much each school adds to (or subtracts from) its graduates earning potential, relative to other colleges and universities. According to The Economist‘s criteria, Montreat College graduates earn, on average, $4,231 more per year than they would if they had attended another college or university.

“These rankings are a statistical affirmation of the emphasis we as an institution place on preparation for calling and career,” said Montreat President Paul J. Maurer. “We believe that the Christian liberal arts’ emphasis on teaching the whole person is valuable intellectually, spiritually, and financially, and it is gratifying to see our emphasis on the latter borne out by the numbers.”

The Economist‘s complete college rankings can be viewed at www.economist.com.