The University of Northwestern – St. Paul recently received some significant rankings recognizing the institution’s high level of education. The university was ranked in the top 25 colleges and universities list by Twin Cities Business Magazine, #13 for regional Midwest colleges and on the top 10 online Christian colleges and universities of 2014 by thebestcolleges.org.
Amy Carey, the vice president of institutional advancement, commented that these rankings affirm to both the outside community as well as the school’s student population that the school is being recognized for its overall quality of academic and co-curricular programs.
“There are many ways institutions are being rated these days, but these recent rankings indicate the value we provide in terms of price, financial aid support, time to graduation, online courses available, quality of our student population and program quality,” said Carey.
Northwestern students are proud to be attending a school that has been recognized for its academic achievements.
“I think it’s great that UNW is being recognized with other top universities. It’s always reassuring to see your school get acknowledged for the faculty’s efforts to support the student body and provide as many services and programs as possible,” said Christine Stevens, a junior communication arts and literature education major.
UNW was ranked in the list of the top 25 colleges and universities by Twin Cities Business Magazine. In com parison to other similar institutions such as the University of Minnesota, Bethel and Hamline University, UNW had the second highest student growth rate as well as graduation rate and highest average GPA.
“I think students choose Northwestern above other schools because they feel welcomed and at home. The support and encouragement that you receive in this type of a community is hard to turn down,” said Stevens. “The ability of the admissions department to make prospective students feel welcomed on campus is extraordinary. I remember walking onto campus and being greeted by groups of students waving and smiling at us and thinking ‘No other school does this!’”
Junior Brett Olson, a psychology major, agreed, saying, “I think what sets Northwestern apart from other colleges is the sincere community that students strive to have here. What we show students who visit is what we actually have.”
Every year, U.S. News gathers data from more than 70 schools across the nation and ranks them according to categories based on both mission and location, dividing colleges into four separate regions: North, South, Midwest and West, with UNW falling into number 13 in the Midwest division.
Olson said, “I think Northwestern’s best qualities surround all of their departments. From academics, sports and student life, Northwestern shows growth and good quality in all of these areas because of the great environment it provides for students to grow not only in the areas they wish to grow in, but with other students they get to meet as well.”
“Northwestern focuses on developing students as a whole person,” Stevens agreed. “I’ve seen people just as worried about preparing for their hall Bible study as they are for their research paper.”
Finally, UNW was ranked number three on the top 10 online Christian colleges and universities of 2014 by thebestcolleges.org, a website that investigates which online Christian schools are clearly seeking to provide a biblically rooted, Christ-centered online education experience for their students.
According to Amy Ritter, a specialist in web and media marketing communications at UNW, the university offers PSEO and early college, graduate and undergraduate degrees online, as well as 50 available individual courses in Bible and the liberal arts.
“With solid student satisfaction and instructional quality indicators, affordable tuition, and a high percentage of students receiving financial aid, Northwestern deserves to be considered one of the best places to go for an online Christian degree,” said Ritter.
Stevens commented that, in her opinion, one of UNW’s greatest assets is the way the school supports its students.
“The student government and the administration go above and beyond to meet students’ needs and provide as positive of an experience as possible,” said Stevens. “The way they meet individual needs instead of treating students as merely an ID number really sets Northwestern apart from other schools.”