EMU ranked in ‘America’s Best Colleges’ edition

EMU placed in the “third tier” rankings in the “best liberal arts colleges” category in the 2010 edition of “America’s Best Colleges” by “U.S. News & World Report” magazine. EMU moved up from the fourth to the third tier last year.

The exclusive listings will be published in the magazine’s Aug. 24 issue and available online at www.usnews.com/colleges. The 2010 “America’s Best Colleges” guidebook will be available as of Tuesday, Aug. 25.

How the rankings work

The Carnegie Foundation 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 266 schools measured in the liberal arts category; most are private institutions; 28 are public.

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.

EMU rates high in key areas

Within the 65 colleges and universities in the third tier, EMU rated high in several key areas,with an average freshman retention rate of 78 percent, well above the national average, and a high percentage of full-time faculty (88 percent).

EMU’s alumni giving rate of 27 percent ranked 11th highest among all schools listed in the third tier.

Cited for international study

In a separate listing, EMU ranked 11th out of 100 schools cited for “most students studying abroad” with 72 percent of its 2008 graduates having participated in international study abroad programs.

“Being ranked in the third tier of such an impressive list of schools is quite an accomplishment. I’m happy that we maintained our ranking in the third tier, and also that we were recognized for the high percentage of students who study abroad,” said BJ Miller, director of institutional research and effectiveness at EMU.

“However, I’m a little disappointed that we weren’t included in their list of ‘Academic Programs to Look For’ category. Our cross-cultural experience is clearly a ‘stellar example’ of a study abroad program to look for according to their definition, but it’s probably not as well known as the ones that were nominated most frequently,” she added.