Skip to main content

Calvin Ranks High in University Report

September 20, 2023

U.S. News & World Report released its 2024 best colleges rankings on Sept. 18, placing Calvin University, the official undergraduate institution of the Christian Reformed Church in North America, fourth overall in the Regional Universities Midwest category. The university is also considered among the best when it comes to undergraduate teaching, merit-based aid awards, international student enrollment, and first-year retention.

Other institutions affiliated with the CRCNA also ranked well in the report, including Dordt University in Sioux Center, Iowa (#8), and Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, Ill. (#15).

U.S. News & World Report releases the report every September to help prospective students and their families evaluate 1,500 U.S. four-year bachelor’s degree-granting colleges and universities based on up to 19 measures of academic quality and graduate outcomes. These measures include first-year retention rates, graduation rates, strength of faculty, and graduate indebtedness.

In the Regional Universities Midwest category, Calvin University sits near the top of several lists. Calvin ranks second for “Most International Students,” with 13 percent of the student body hailing from outside the United States, third in “Freshmen Retention Rate” with 86 percent of first-year students returning for a second year, and fifth in the “Best Undergraduate Teaching” category. The university is also considered a “Best Value School,” ranking 20th on that list.

In addition to Calvin’s rankings compared to those of other schools in the Midwest, the university also stood out nationally for its awarding of merit-based aid. Calvin placed 35th out of all colleges and universities on a list that ranked schools with the highest percentage of students in 2022-2023 who “had no financial need and who were awarded institutional non-need-based scholarship or grant aid,” excluding athletic awards and tuition benefits.

Calvin also holds the second highest ranking in the state of Michigan in engineering (only Kettering University ranks higher) and remains in the top 50 on the “Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs” list, which ranks all colleges and universities in the United States that are non-doctorate-granting institutions. In addition, Calvin appears on lists that highlight the best computer science programs and best nursing programs in the country.

“Ranking guides like U.S. News & World Report take into consideration the most important factors prospective students and families are looking for in a college education,” said Lauren Jensen, vice president of enrollment strategy at Calvin. “To be ranked near the top of so many of these lists and to be in high demand both in-state and around the globe is validation that Calvin is a great place for students to thrive both in college and after graduation.”

Similarly, Dordt University ranked number 8 on the “Regional Universities (Midwest)” list and is the top-ranked school in Iowa in that category. Dordt moved up from number 9 in the ranking since the 2022-23 listing.

“When other people notice the good work of our faculty and staff here at Dordt, it’s certainly heartening,” said Dordt president Dr. Erik Hoekstra. “To once again be a ‘Top 10’ school according to U.S. News is terrific—but external accolades will never be our benchmark. Our goal is to ready our students to be effective kingdom citizens—which demands not only that we have all the marks of quality that these ranking agencies look for, but also that we center the name of Jesus in every activity of our campus. To show that we can be biblically faithful and academically excellent is precisely the point. We believe that striving for excellence is one way to honor Christ.”

Trinity Christian College was also named to several of the report’s “best” lists for 2024, including the Top 15 Regional Colleges Midwest, #20 in Social Mobility, and a Top Value in the Midwest (#15).

“The collaboration between our excellent faculty and staff and our amazing students has produced transformational student outcomes,” said Trinity president Dr. Aaron Kuecker. “We are honored and excited when groups outside of Trinity note these outcomes and their strength in relation to other institutions in our region. We are proud of the work we are doing at Trinity, preparing students to flourish in their lives here and beyond their time in college.”

In addition to the U.S. News & World Report rankings, the schools also receive high marks from a number of other leading ranking guidebooks, including the Fiske Guide to Colleges, Forbes, Money, Niche, Washington Monthly, and the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education, to name a few.

Further, the Princeton Review, which includes Calvin as one of the best institutions for undergraduates to earn their bachelor’s degree, also lists it as the 12th best school in the U.S. for its student support and counseling services.