Calvin University ranks #3 in new report

Calvin University recently scored the #3 spot on the U.S. News & World Report’s top regional universities in the Midwest on Sept. 9. Calvin’s overall score was 88/100. Ellens called the U.S. News & World Report the “gold standard” for college ranking systems. In addition to its overall ranking, Calvin ranked #5 in “best undergraduate teaching” and #18 in “best value schools.”  

 The U.S. News & World Report looks at several factors such as outcomes, faculty resources, expert opinion, financial resources, student excellence and alumni giving. Outcomes is the largest determining factor and examines how a school retains and graduates its students. Faculty resources include information such as class sizes, faculty salary and faculty-to-student ratio. Expert opinions include those of presidents, provosts and deans of similar institutions. The financial resources category examines the university’s spending per student on academic-related services and resources. Student excellence looks at student ACT/SAT scores and rankings as well as high school standings. Alumni giving shows “student satisfaction and post-graduate engagement” (U.S. News).

Calvin had previously been in the regional colleges in the Midwest category (in which it was ranked #1) but now falls into a new category.

 “The movement in this category has nothing to do with our name,” says Tim Ellens, director of communications & brand steward. “It has everything to do with the kinds of degrees we offer, so because we’ve started to offer more graduate degrees … it’s moved us into this new category.” 

Provost Cheryl Brandsen said this was “not at all” a downgrade. Ellens commented, “it really is an apples and oranges thing because now you have a different set of competitors out there.”

In relation to enrollment, Brandsen hopes “the prominence of being third in this category elevates Calvin University to the top of the list for prospective students and their parents.” Brandsen says this ranking is a “wonderful validation by an external entity that we are doing good work,” and that Calvin will “aspire to continue offering an excellent education.”