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Wheaton College named among country's best, most financially sound and driest institutions

WHEATON – Wheaton College was inundated with honors during the summer break – some more conventional than others.

The college was ranked as one of America's top 100 colleges on Forbes' 2013 list, coming in at 98. The Christian liberal arts school is well known for its academic background, but was also recognized for its balanced books.

Wheaton got an "A" letter grade from Forbes' College Financial Grades list, gaining a 4.255 GPA out of a possible 4.5 – 57th in the country. Forbes said it based the rankings on a combination of factors, including endowments, expendable assets, tuition as a percentage of core revenues, student grants and admissions yield.

"Those rankings are certainly positive for us," said LaTonya Taylor, director of media relations for Wheaton College. "We're glad when others see that we are who we claim to be when we claim to offer a solid, academically sound education that is worth its value."

Taylor said that the college doesn't do anything with the goal of affecting its rankings, but that the unique experience offered by Wheaton College makes for a positive learning environment.

"I think one of the real distinctions of Wheaton College is its commitment to providing a Christian liberal arts education," she said. "I think that's something that makes us really unique compared to other institutions."

Two other, more unusual rankings that included Wheaton College were released by the Princeton Review, another high profile college ranking resource. The college was listed as the number two "sober school" in the country and was also ranked as the college that produces the most future rotarians and daughters of the American Revolution nationwide.

Taylor said that each member of the Wheaton College community signed a "community covenant" of conduct, including a pledge not to drink or smoke.

"It's good news," Taylor said. "What it indicates to us is that our students take their commitment to the community covenant seriously and that really enhances the learning and living environment we like to provide."

The latter ranking, according to the Princeton Review, was based on the answers of student surveys, which "indicated their personal political persuasions to be very conservative, low levels of acceptance of the gay community on campus, high levels of popularity of student government on campus, and a very religious student body."

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