Calvin tops U.S. News & World Report lists

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The U.S. News & World Report announced its 2017 lists of the best colleges this Tuesday, and Calvin can now boast the number one ranking among regional colleges in the Midwest, tying with Taylor University.

Calvin’s impressive performance in the 2017 U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges Guidebook is not exclusive to this general category — no, Calvin is also at the top of two subcategories: “Strong Commitment to Undergraduate Teaching” and “Best Colleges for Veterans.”

The engineering program was also recognized, being ranked among the top 50 in “Best Engineering Programs” as well as in the category “The Best Foreign Student Factor”; international students comprised ten percent of Calvin’s undergraduate population at the time of publication.

The U.S. News & World Report was founded in 1933 and has been almost exclusively an online publication since 2010. The rankings of best colleges has been their practice since 1983. The results of the 2017 ranking are encouraging to both Calvin students and administrators. In a recent press release, President Michael Le Roy stated that the high rankings are a result of the school’s mission:

“Calvin’s mission, rather than rankings, anchors us in our educational vision, but independent validation from U.S. News encourages us to believe that faithful work will be recognized by others.”

Taylor University, the school that tied for first with Calvin, was founded in 1846, thirty years before Calvin, and it has almost half as many undergraduate students as Calvin. Taylor is an interdenominational Christian school is located in rural Indiana.

The number ranking is based on each college’s performance in fifteen rigorous and generally accepted indicators of excellence. These categories include the strength of faculty, first-year retention rates and graduation rates. It is also worth noting that among higher-education institutions in Michigan, Calvin is the only one to earn a number one ranking in the category of best Midwest regional colleges. Overall, the college ranks 120th on the national list of liberal arts colleges.

Calvin owns various rankings from other institutions as well. Forbes ranks Calvin 183rd for “America’s Top Colleges” and in 2015 the Washington Monthly ranked Calvin 87th among liberal arts colleges.

Calvin’s ranking by U.S. News are an indicator of growth and a recognition of excellence, but it also provides hope and insight for those for whom Calvin has yet to cross their radar.