The University of Mary is also North Dakota’s No.1 ranked Plains Region Hidden Gem on College Raptor.

BISMARCK, ND — One of America’s leading online college planning resources has ranked the University of Mary as one of the Best Rural Hidden Gem Colleges in the U.S. for 2021. College Raptor ranked the private, Catholic, university in Bismarck, ND, 12th in the country among thousands of schools receiving fewer than 5,000 applications, fewer than 7,000 undergraduate students, and an acceptance rate above 10 percent.

According to College Raptor, colleges are ranked based on a combination of factors, including graduation rates, campus diversity, endowment per student, and other data as reported via the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) for the most recently-available enrollment year.

“If you prefer space and a more relaxed atmosphere to the hustle and bustle of a big city, a rural college might be ideal for you,” said College Raptor. “Many of the best college towns are located in rural settings and many of them have the strong sense of community among their students. Additionally, given the current pandemic, many students and families are looking into colleges that are more isolated or even closer to home. For that reason, we wanted to highlight some amazing ‘Hidden Gems’ in rural areas.”

The University of Mary became one of the first higher education institutions in America to announce it would be reopening face-to-face instruction this fall 2020, and implemented a comprehensive Return to Campus COVID-19 plan for students, faculty, and staff to follow.

“The University of Mary is a private, Christian, Catholic, Benedictine university that welcomes students of all faiths and backgrounds,” said Richard “Chip” Hinton, director of University Admissions at Mary. “Our commitment is to help students to live fully, to live well, so that they’re not just existing, but really living; not just surviving, but thriving. Our student body hails from 11 different countries and 48 different states where they converge upon the idyllic Bismarck-Mandan community to be able to enjoy our 89 miles of recreational trails, 30 scenic parks, and six golf courses. For the adventuresome spirit, we offer wildlife and hunting clubs, downhill skiing and snowboarding during the winter, and kayaking, canoeing, and fishing during warmer months. The appeal of the spectacular views from the bluffs that overlook the Missouri River valley, is obvious, not only to all of us, but Lewis and Clark who also traversed these parts over two centuries ago in 1804.”

Of the top 25 schools cited, the University of Mary has the largest student population at approximately 3,800.

The University of Mary is also North Dakota’s top ranked Plains Region Hidden Gem on College Raptor.

Also, this past October, the personal-finance website, WalletHub, released its 2021 Best College & University Rankings report and the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND, is also ranked No. 1 in North Dakota.

True to its motto “lumen vitae”—The Light of Life—the University of Mary offers education for the whole of life through cutting-edge professional programs and graduate programs animated by moral courage and leadership in chosen professions and service to the community. A private, co-educational Catholic institution, the University of Mary welcomes students of all faiths and backgrounds.

A Christian, Catholic, Benedictine institution founded in 1959 by the Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery, Mary offers nearly 60 bachelor’s, 15 master’s, and four doctoral programs—in Education, Nursing Practice, Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy. The 19-sport Athletic Department adheres to its Greatness Through Virtue mission under the governance of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) conferences. With more than 3,800 students, Mary has locations in North Dakota, Montana, Kansas, Arizona, Rome, Italy, as well as vibrant online offerings. For more information, visit