Niagara University is one of only 10 Catholic colleges and universities in New York state – and 76 nationwide – to be selected to the 2016-17 list of top academic institutions by Colleges of Distinction.

Published annually, the Colleges of Distinction list is based upon exemplary commitment to four distinctions: engaged students, great teaching, vibrant communities, and successful outcomes, all of which reflect Niagara University’s values-based, holistic education model.

The 2016-17 Colleges of Distinction Guidebook will be published later this summer.

“The recognition that Niagara University receives for the delivery of well-rounded education to our students is a testament to the excellence of our students, faculty, staff, and administrators,” said the Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., president of Niagara University. “As a community committed to learning as well as the personal, social, and spiritual development of our students, our mission is to enrich the lives of our students, foster student and alumni success as a means of serving those in need, and promote excellence as a Catholic and Vincentian university in the world of today.”

The annual process to select colleges that have distinguished themselves begins with nominations from high school counselors and educators. The process includes a review of each institution’s freshman experience, as well as its general education program, strategic plan, and alumni success and satisfaction measures. Select colleges are then invited to join Colleges of Distinction, a national guide that highlights innovative opportunities at top schools.

“Colleges of Distinction is more than an annual ranking of colleges and universities. We only include colleges that offer every student a holistic and valuable experience,” said Tyson Schritter, executive editor for Colleges of Distinction. “The Colleges of Distinction have earned solid reputations for serving their students and nurturing success. Like Niagara University, our member schools provide the affirming undergraduate experience every student deserves.”

Since 1999, the Colleges of Distinction website and guidebook have recognized and honored schools throughout the U.S. for excellence in undergraduate-focused higher education. The member schools in the Colleges of Distinction consortium distinguish themselves through their focus on the undergraduate experience. provides dynamic college profiles, customized tools, and resources for students, parents, and high school counselors. For more information, visit

Since September, Niagara University has been recognized for its strong record of preparing graduates for real-world success by U.S. News & World Report, The Princeton Review, Money magazine, and College Choice.

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