EMU Moves Up in ‘U.S. News’ Rankings

EMU has moved up from the fourth to the “third tier” rankings in the “best liberal arts colleges” category in the 2009 edition of “America’s Best Colleges” by “U.S.News & World Report” magazine.

The exclusive listings will be published in the magazine’s Aug. 27 issue and available online at www.usnews.com/colleges. The 2009 “America’s Best Colleges” guidebook will be available as of Tuesday, Aug. 26.

The Carnegie Commission defines a national liberal arts school as one emphasizing undergraduate education and awarding at least 50 percent of its degrees in the arts and sciences. There were 265 schools measured in the liberal arts category; most are private institutions; 27 are public.

Ranking Methodology

A complete summary of the methodology used to rank each school can be found online at www.usnews.com/colleges.

Each college and university received a score based on 15 indicators, including peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, faculty-student ratios and class sizes, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving.

Within the 65 colleges and universities in the third tier, EMU rated high with an average freshman retention rate of 78 percent, well above the national average, and in the percentage of full-time faculty (90 percent). EMU’s alumni giving rate of 28 percent ranked tenth highest among all schools listed in the third tier.

High Graduation Rate Key

“I feel certain that our six-year graduation rate was the primary factor in the move up the rankings,” said BJ Miller, director of institutional research and effectiveness at EMU.

“That statistic is weighted heavily in the methodology, and our rate was at 70 percent for the class that entered in 2001. Their ranking calculation also includes the difference between what they predicted our rate would be and our actual rate. We outperformed their predicted rate by seven percentage points,” Dr. Miller added.

All 2009 rankings are available on the magazine’s website at www.usnews.com