Andrews University, a major educational institution of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, is the only Adventist school included in Forbes' sixth annual list of top U.S. colleges and universities. Forbes ranked Andrews University 543 out of 650 schools, a sample representing approximately the top 7 percent of all institutions of higher learning in the U.S. (total of 4,495 as of 2010, according to the National Center for Educational Statistics) or top 23 percent of the 2,774 public and private four-year degree-granting institutions.
“Andrews University's unique category classification (by the Carnegie Foundation) as the only nationally ranked, comprehensive doctoral degree granting university within the Adventist system offers a visibility to Andrews for a list like this. Plus, operating as a university for five decades probably also helps,” comments Robert Weaver, vice president for marketing at the Association of Adventist Colleges and Universities.
Forbes partners with the Center for College Affordability and Productivity (CCAP) to rank the top colleges. The goal of the list is to determine students' return on investment, says Forbes. “We’re not all that interested in what gets a student into college, like our peers who focus heavily on selectivity metrics such as high school class rank, SAT scores and the like. Our sights are set directly on ROI: What are students getting out of college?”
Each school's score is based on twelve weighted factors in five general categories. The categories are student satisfaction (22.5 percent), post-graduate success (37.5 percent), student debt (17.5 percent), graduation rate (11.25 percent), and nationally competitive awards (11.25 percent). Remarking on formulas used for ranking schools, Weaver comments, “There are many ways to measure colleges and universities, and the 13 accredited Adventist colleges and universities in North America reflect that. Many of our colleges and universities are highly ranked on various criteria in the geographic region in which they operate, and we collectively celebrate and acknowledge the excellence and public recognition the schools regularly receive, including this recognition of Andrews University.”
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