Gonzaga Included in 2018 ‘Fiske Guide’ to Best U.S., British and Canadian Colleges


SPOKANE, Wash. – Gonzaga University is included among the best 321 U.S., Canadian and British colleges and universities featured in the “Fiske Guide to Colleges 2018,” the publication – a top independent guide to the best schools for more than 30 years – announced this week. This marks the third consecutive year Gonzaga has been included in the guide.

Compiled by Edward Fiske, the former education editor for The New York Times, the publication ($24.99) offers a selective, subjective, and systematic look at what it calls the “best and most interesting” schools. The guide aims to reveal the distinctive personality of its listed schools based on a broad range of subjects, including student body, academics, social life, financial aid, campus setting, housing, food, and extracurricular activities.

The 2018 edition describes Gonzaga as a “solid regional liberal arts university committed to the Jesuit ideal of educating the whole person: mind, body, and spirit” where students will find “classic Jesuit education” with a rigorous core curriculum and emphasis on service.

The publication gives Gonzaga high marks for its remarkable sense of community.

“Community is a word tossed around quite frequently at all college campuses,” a psychology major told the publication, “but at GU, community is almost a belief.”

While the sustained success of the Gonzaga men’s and women’s basketball programs – including the men’s remarkable run to the National Championship game this year – might inspire the most vocal examples of the University’s spirit, the publication notes students say Gonzaga’s commitments to religious and humanistic values and social justice run deep.

Gonzaga offers more than 40 service-learning courses, and 59 percent of undergraduates take part in some form of community service, the guide notes.

“Being involved in the community is a specific Jesuit trait that we all try to live out,” says one student. Each spring, more than 100 students travel to sites across the nation to participate in community service projects through Mission: Possible, and the University has ranked among the nation’s top Peace Corps volunteer-producing institutions with alumni serving worldwide.

Regarding diversity, an English major told the publication, “We have awesome cultural clubs and movements toward gender equality, but there’s still a lot to be done.”

The publication notes the following:

Academics: Students describe the academic climate as rigorous but collaborative. “At times it may be competitive,” says one student, “but everyone works together.” Students describe professors as knowledgeable and ready to help, and most “practically beg their students to get to know them through visiting office hours and giving one-on-one attention in class,” a senior told the publication. Writing, social justice, and global studies are emphasized. “Classes from our core curriculum tie into courses from our majors and minors, which is really fun,” a business administration major told the guide.

Study Abroad Programs: “The centerpiece program for study abroad is Gonzaga-in-Florence, which offers students of any major, including engineering, the opportunity to study at Gonzaga’s campus in Florence, Italy, without interrupting their four-year path to graduation.” Overall, Gonzaga offers more than 60 programs, in which nearly half of students participate, the guide notes.

University Ministry: Gonzaga offers 16 spiritual retreats annually, although there are no requirements to attend Mass or chapel. The Freshman Retreat offers incoming students the chance to escape for a weekend and bond with classmates through games and other activities.

Student Experience: “Everyone brings their own experiences, ideas, and dreams,” a biology major told the publication, “and it’s amazing to go to a school where people try to foster growth in all aspects of life.”

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