For the 13th consecutive year, Union College’s academic quality has earned the school a top-tier spot among “America’s Best Colleges.” In addition to the eponymous rankings, the annual publication by U.S. News and World Report placed Union highly in several other lists. One of those rankings was new this year: “Best value schools.”
“I couldn’t be prouder to see Union honored among the best values in higher education,” said Vinita Sauder, Union College president. “Our guiding principle has never been to seek prestige or convenience. In every situation, we ask ourselves what will create the greatest value for our students—providing a quality, Christian education that’s also financially accessible. It’s great to see that dedication recognized.”
The designation of a “best value school” comes from a formula that weighs the school’s score in the “Best Colleges” ranking against its total cost of attendance—tuition, fees and living expenses after the average financial aid award is subtracted. While the math may be complex, the idea is simple. According to U.S. News, “the higher the quality of the program and the lower the cost, the better the deal.”
Much of what makes Union College unique, such as the faculty’s commitment to both academic and spiritual mentorship, is not accounted for in the “Best Colleges” methodology. Among the 16 statistics U.S. News employs, Union stands out due to the college’s high retention rate, small class sizes, low student-to-teacher ratio, and high rate of alumni who give in support of the college’s mission. These positive scores are largely thanks to the Union’s small size and friendly, family-like atmosphere.
This year, Union College will continue to play to the strengths of a small, intimate campus with an enrollment of 832 students for 2018-19. “We are grateful for each student and the opportunity they offer to train, mentor and demonstrate Christian love,” Sauder said. “Union will continue to provide an outstanding educational experience, and we are also thankful to be within our budgeted goals for this year.”
Published since 1983, the U.S. News rankings are the most comprehensive and well-known tool for parents and prospective students to directly compare American colleges and universities. This year, the publication evaluated 1,397 colleges and universities divided into categories based on region and the types of degrees conferred. Union College is included in the regional college category because of its focus on undergraduate and career-oriented degrees (granting more than 50 percent of degrees in professional fields and fewer than 50 graduate degrees each year).
"America's Best Colleges and Universities"
#27 among Midwestern colleges
"Best Value Schools"
#24 among Midwestern colleges
Most ethnic diversity
#4 among Midwestern colleges
Highest percentage of international students
Tied for #9 among Midwestern colleges