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SAU ranks high among Michigan universities in U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Colleges” rankings

Aerial photo of campus plaza with clocktower

U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 “Best Colleges” rankings reveal Spring Arbor University (SAU) as a top-tier Midwest Regional University for the 11th consecutive year. SAU showed improvement over the previous year’s rankings in the following three categories:

Best Regional Universities Midwest

  • 2019: Ranked No. 53
  • 2020: Ranked No. 43
    Fifth-best in the state of Michigan!

Best Value Schools (Regional Universities Midwest)

  • 2019: Ranked No. 32
  • 2020: Ranked No. 25
    Second-best in the state of Michigan!                                                                                                

Best Colleges for Veterans (Regional Universities Midwest)

  • 2019: Ranked No. 32
  • 2020: Ranked No. 28
    Third-best in the state of Michigan!                                                                                           

Additionally, SAU was ranked No. 23 among Regional Universities Midwest in “Best Undergraduate Teaching Programs” and No. 7 among Regional Universities Midwest on the new list of “Top Performers on Social Mobility,” which assesses graduation rates of Pell-awarded students. 

SAU’s improved rankings can be attributed in part to its decreased student-to-faculty ratio, which translates to smaller classes and a more personal, relational education. The university’s “Best Value” ranking improved due to an increase in the discount offered to students through need-based grants.

SAU president Dr. Brent Ellis believes that this ranking reflects the SAU community’s effort to keep the SAU Concept central to all that they do, saying, “At Spring Arbor University, our aim is to prepare students to be more than just professionals. Within our intentional community of learners, students are encouraged to become vibrant Christians, master learners and global participants. This ranking affirms the dedication of our faculty and staff to that end.”

U.S. News and World Report uses a unique methodology to rank schools, weighing categories such as peer assessment, retention and graduation rates, faculty and financial resources, student selectivity and alumni giving. For consideration within the rankings of Regional Universities, schools must offer a full range of undergraduate programs as well as some master’s programs.