What is the SAU mission statement?
The Spring Arbor University Concept guides everything we do. It states: Spring Arbor University is a community of learners distinguished by our lifelong involvement in the study and application of the liberal arts, total commitment to Jesus Christ as the perspective for learning, and critical participation in the contemporary world.
Where are you located?
The main campus of Spring Arbor University is located in Spring Arbor, Michigan (8 miles southwest of the city of Jackson). It is about 45 minutes west of Ann Arbor, MI and 40 minutes south of Lansing, MI. We also have 13 regional sites in Michigan and Ohio, plus Michindoh Conference Center in Hillsdale, Mich.
Maps and directions
How many students attend SAU?
1,700 on main campus; 1,200 graduate; 1,300 professional studies; Approx. 4,200 total
What is the ratio of women to men?
The women/men percentages on our main campus are about 60/40.
Are you an accredited university?
Yes. Spring Arbor University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, the highest level of accreditation available. The Social Work program is also separately accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Learn more about our accreditations.
What is your placement rate for students getting jobs after college?
A study of first year SAU graduate respondents indicated that 96% are employed and/or enrolled in graduate school (based on alumni data from the class of 2010). Our Career Services Office offers a wide variety of programs and services to assist students with their job search. In addition, many academic departments are active in helping their graduates find work in their field.
How many academic programs do you offer?
We offer 74 undergraduate programs of study on our main campus. We also offer nine degree completion programs and ten graduate programs.
What is your most popular major?
Our main campus majors with the highest enrollments (ordered by size) are: Teacher Education, Psychology, Biology, Art, Business, Social Work, and Youth Ministry. See our list of majors and programs.
What is the student to faculty ratio?
15 to 1 on main campus
Do you have a bachelor’s program in nursing?
As of Fall 2016, we offer a traditional and highly sought after undergraduate nursing program, though enrollment in the program is not guaranteed. SAU also has great Pre-Med, Pre-Dental, and Pre-Vet programs. Additionally, many of our locations around Michigan and Ohio offer an excellent “RN to BSN” program.
Do you have engineering?
Spring Arbor has a Pre-Engineering program. Students can choose to do their first 2 or 3 years here at SAU and then transfer for an additional 2 years of engineering coursework. Students who choose the 3-2 option will receive two bachelor’s degrees upon the completion of the engineering degree, one from SAU and one from the engineering school. We have a cooperative agreement with University of Michigan, but students can also apply to other engineering schools.
Do you offer Dual Enrollment courses?
Yes, we offer a wide variety of courses for dual enrollment. This allows high school students with a strong academic record to begin acquiring college credits while still in high school. Courses can be taken on the main campus or online. Learn more about our dual enrollment program.
Do you offer study abroad opportunities?
One of SAU’s distinctions is that we require every student who starts as a freshman or sophomore to complete a cross cultural experience. This can be done through a three-week trip or a semester-long study abroad program. These are academic trips that are different than a mission trip, although some trips include a ministry/service component. Students are immersed in the culture of the host country through a wide variety of experiences, often including a home stay with a local family. Trips go to many countries around the world. Visit our cross cultural studies website to learn more.
How do I pay for my cross cultural program?
The costs of the different cross cultural programs varies. Under a new plan that was just approved, the University will offer a certain number of trips each year that will have no additional cost for travel, meals and lodging, beyond what a student pays in tuition. Other trips will include some additional cost. Learn more about the tuition benefit program.
How is college different from high school?
The biggest difference is your level of independence and your need to be self-motivated. You will need to balance your time well, especially if you play a sport or have a part-time job. Your class schedule will be different from high school, and you will have more free time throughout the day. You will also have the opportunity to experience community and develop friendships in ways you may not have been able to during high school.
Do you offer online classes?
Yes, we offer a wide variety of online classes. Many of our graduate programs are offered online. The undergraduate programs that can be completed entirely online are the associate of science in business, the bachelor of science in business, and the bachelor of science in organizational management.
Do you accept AP or CLEP credits?
Yes, we do accept a variety of AP and CLEP credits. Learn more about the different credit transfers here.
Are classes challenging?
You will be challenged at SAU, but there is also good support available. Academic assistance is provided by Academic Student Connections and by faculty members. For students who want even greater academic depth and challenge, we offer the E. P. Hart Honors Program. More information about the E. P. Hart Honors Program and the different opportunities available through Academic Student Connections.
Is tutoring available for those who need it?
Yes. We have an excellent resource center available to help all students enhance their learning. It is called Academic Student Connections. It offers individual and group tutoring, study sessions, and a variety of services for students seeking to improve their studies. ASC also provides support services for students with various special needs. Students who have excelled in subjects are employed as tutors. For more information, visit the Academic Student Connections website.
Are professors approachable and available?
Yes. One of the greatest things about SAU is how much contact you will have with your professors. They will know you by name and take a personal interest in how you are doing. You will find them to be down-to-earth and genuine, and some of them will become trusted friends and mentors to you.
What are your admission requirements for incoming freshmen?
It is recommended that high school students have a cumulative grade point average of 2.6 and an ACT Composite Score of 20 or SAT score (Critical Reading and Math) of 950 since this combination tends to indicate potential for success of new freshmen. However, these are not firm cut-offs as there are also other factors that may be reviewed by the Admission Committee that can indicate success. Admission is determined using a variety of criteria, so every interested student is encouraged to apply for admission.
How do I apply for admission?
Applicants are encouraged to use our online application at arbor.edu/applynow. It is free and easy to use. They should also request that official transcripts be sent to the SAU Office of Admissions from their high school and any colleges previously attended. We will also need official ACT or SAT scores. Students may apply for admission up to one year in advance of when they plan to enroll. Start filling out your online admissions application.
When is your cutoff date for admission?
We practice “rolling admission” at Spring Arbor. Once all your application materials have been received, we will inform you of our admission decision. It is good to complete the application process as early as possible, especially for maximum financial aid.
How can I visit campus?
We offer many special visit events throughout the year or you can set up an individual campus visit. THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU CAN DO IN YOUR COLLEGE SEARCH PROCESS IS TO VISIT COLLEGE CAMPUSES, and we would love to host you for a visit at SAU. If possible, we encourage you to come on a Monday or Wednesday so you can experience chapel. You can also meet your admissions representative, attend a class, eat lunch in the dining commons, and meet with a professor or coach. Set up a campus visit today.
What varsity sports do you offer for men and women?
Men: Baseball, basketball, cheerleading, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis, track and field
Women: Basketball, cheerleading, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field, volleyball
We recently added junior varsity soccer for both women and men. To learn more, visit saucougars.com
Do you offer athletic scholarships?
Yes. To let a coach know of your interest in playing a sport at SAU, go to the online Recruit Form page and choose your sport of interest. If the coach is interested in recruiting you, he or she will contact you.
Do you have a football team?
Costs and Financial Aid
How much does it cost to attend SAU?
Cost information is updated each spring for the following academic year. We work hard to keep our costs affordable, and they are very competitive with other private liberal arts colleges. To learn more about the current costs to attend SAU, visit the tuition and fees page.
What kinds of financial aid do you offer?
We offer great financial aid at Spring Arbor, so the actual out-of-pocket cost to attend SAU is often comparable to attending an in-state public university. DON’T ASSUME WE ARE TOO EXPENSIVE; apply for financial aid with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and see how affordable an excellent Christian college education can be. Types of financial aid include federal and state aid, scholarships, grants, loans, and work study programs. Visit our tuition and fees page as well as our financial aid section.
What academic scholarships do you offer for freshmen?
We have recently increased the amounts of our freshman academic scholarships. They range from $4,000 to $12,000 a year. Visit our academic scholarships section.
How can I find out how much financial aid I will get?
We can prepare a financial aid estimate for you, based on information you provide. It will give you a fairly accurate estimate of the amount of financial aid you will qualify for. Request a financial aid estimate now.
Can I get a campus job?
Yes, however the jobs on campus are limited. If you are approved for Work Study or if you are seeking a job on campus, persistence is the key. Make sure to check daily with Human Resources at the beginning of the semester for new job openings.
Housing and Dining
How are the residence halls set up?
We have a variety of types of housing available, including floors with community restrooms, suites, houses, and apartments. All residence hall rooms come fully furnished, and all the halls have recreation and laundry facilities. Many also have cooking facilities. The furniture is stackable, so there are many ways to arrange your room and maximize space. Many of our residence halls were built within the last ten years. Learn more about campus housing.
How do I get my roommate?
When you complete your Housing Application, you have the opportunity to share some things about yourself. We use that information to match you with a roommate who should be a good fit for you. Your admissions representative will get to know you well, and he or she will also be part of the roommate matching process.
What is the food like?
We offer a wide variety of dining options, and the food is actually quite good. Our main dining commons is centrally located and offers many menu selections for each meal, including vegetarian options. We can accommodate special dietary needs. We also have the Cougar Den and Ada’s Kitchen, which both offer lighter dining options. For more information regarding dining on campus, visit dineoncampus.com/sau
Can guys go in girls’ dorms and vice versa?
Residence halls are single sex and living areas are only open to members of the opposite sex during established visitation hours throughout the week. All the halls have common areas where people can visit throughout the day.
Where and how do I get my mail? What if I get a package?
Each student shares a mailbox with another student. The mailboxes are on the lower level of the Student Life Center near the Registrar’s Office. Packages are delivered to Mailing and Duplicating (M&D) and students will receive a slip in their mailbox notifying them to pick it up.
Is there security on campus? How safe is campus?
Yes, our campus is very safe. We have security officers that patrol 24/7. We make sure parking lots and walkways are well lit. All of the residence halls are locked at night and only people from the hall can access the building. As with any place, you should be wise and use care, but you will feel safe on campus. Our campus safety personnel are always available to escort you, and they offer a variety of other services such as help if you lock your keys in your car or need assistance with a dead battery or flat tire. Visit the campus safety website.
Can freshmen have cars?
As a general rule, freshmen are not allowed to have cars on campus. Freshmen are encouraged to stay on campus on the weekends and at night so they begin to build relationships and friendships on campus. If a car is absolutely necessary, they can fill out a car petition explaining why they need a car. They need to have a pertinent reason — job, health-related issue, need to travel home often — to be approved for a parking pass.
Are there campus activities I can get involved with?
The student organization, “The Catalyst,” organizes events and activities for each weekend of the school year. There are also many other social, academic, and cultural events that are hosted by various organizations and groups throughout the year. We also have a wide variety of student organizations and service opportunities available. Another great way to get involved is with either varsity or intramural athletics. Learn more about student life at SAU.
What can I do in Spring Arbor and Jackson?
Spring Arbor offers a “small town feel” to our students while Jackson is the place to go for a night out. Jackson has two malls, 3 cinemas, a wide variety of restaurant and fast food chains, coffee shops, a Walmart, and 2 Meijers. Experience Jackson or see our list of activities around town. We are about 45 minutes from both Lansing and Ann Arbor, which also offer a wide variety of activities.
What is the spiritual atmosphere like on campus?
Diverse and vibrant. You do not have to profess faith in Jesus Christ to attend SAU. However, most of our students and all of our faculty and staff are committed Christians. We have over 40 Christian denominations represented on campus. There are almost 50 different small groups and Bible studies offered each semester which shows that the community as a whole wants to grow spiritually. Our chapel services are a central feature of our life together as a community. Learn more about spiritual life on campus.
Do you have mandatory chapel attendance? Even for part-time students?
Chapel at SAU is a time for our campus community to come together for authentic worship and practical teaching. It is one of the highlights of each week. Chapel is required twice a week for all full-time students living on campus. Commuters who are full-time students must attend if they live in the 49283 zip code area or have a class immediately before AND after chapel. Part-time students are not required to attend chapel, but chapel attendance is encouraged for all students.
What church are you affiliated with?
Spring Arbor University is controlled by a board of trustees and is affiliated with the Free Methodist Church of North America. The FMC is part of the Wesleyan holiness movement that was started by John and Charles Wesley. We have a close and productive relationship with the Free Methodist Church, but with over 40 denominations represented, the campus atmosphere is interdenominational. To learn more about the Free Methodist Church, visit fmcusa.org
What are your admission criteria for transfer students?
Transfer students who have 26 or more transferable credits with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 (from all colleges previously attended) are admissible. Those who have not completed 26 or more credits will be reviewed for admission based on their college work and their performance during high school, including strength of high school curriculum, grade point average, and ACT or SAT scores. Get additional information at our transfer students section.
Do you offer academic scholarships for transfer students?
Yes! We offer our transfer students either the Deans Scholarship ($7,500 a year) or our Merit Scholarship ($5,000 a year). The Deans Scholarship requires a 3.5-4.0 transfer GPA; the Merit Scholarship requires a 3.0-3.49 transfer GPA. They are both renewable if you maintain a certain GPA. Learn more at our transfer students academic scholarship section.
Will my credits transfer to SAU?
SAU has a fairly open process for transferring credits from other accredited colleges and universities. Most courses that are numbered 100 and above in which a student has a grade of “C” (2.0) or better will transfer. Some courses will meet specific requirements while others will come in as general electives which count toward the total number of credits needed to graduate. Our Registration & Records Office will review student transcripts and notify them as to how many credits will transfer and how many more credits they will need to graduate from SAU. If you are transferring from a two year college in Michigan, take a look at our equivalency guide.
How many credits can I transfer?
A maximum of 68 credits may be transferred from a community college. A student transferring from a four-year institution may transfer up to 90 credits.
How do I transfer my credits?
To transfer credits, a student should request that official transcripts be sent to SAU. In order to be considered official, college transcripts need to be sent directly from the other college(s) to the SAU Office of Admissions. Credits can be reviewed using unofficial transcripts provided by the student, but credits can only be transferred using official transcripts.
Do you accept the MACRAO Agreement?
If students are attending a two-year college in Michigan, they should consider fulfilling the requirements for the MACRAO Agreement, which is offered at most community colleges. By transferring under the MACRAO Agreement, they will have fulfilled all of their general education liberal arts requirements before arriving at SAU. Learn more about the MACRAO Agreement and SAU’s participation with it.