US News ranks West Michigan’s colleges


A number of buildings make up GVSU’s Pew campus in downtown Grand Rapids, including the Richard M. DeVos Center. Photo via

The region’s colleges have been ranked in multiple categories in a report that compares colleges across the country.

U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 “Best Colleges” rankings show several of the region’s colleges ranked among the nation’s "best" and the region’s “best,” as well as within multiple other rankings.

The annual report ranks the “best” overall national universities and liberal arts colleges, regional universities and colleges, undergrad engineering and business schools and multiple specialties and programs.

The report received data from more than 1,800 schools and ranked nearly 1,400 of them.

Aquinas College

Regional Universities Midwest, 38
Best Value Schools, 11

Calvin College

Regional Colleges Midwest, 1
Best Undergraduate Teaching, 1
Best Value Schools, 18
Most Innovative Schools, tie at 4
Engineering Programs, without doctorate program, 71

Cornerstone University

Regional Universities Midwest, 106

Davenport University

Regional Universities Midwest, "128-165"

Grace Christian University

Regional Colleges Midwest, 58

Grand Valley State University

Regional Universities Midwest, 29
Best Colleges for Veterans, 19
Best Value Schools, tie at 14
Most Innovative Schools, 9
Top Public Schools, 3
Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs, no doctorate offered, 45
Best Online Graduate Education Programs, 141
Ranked grad school programs: Occupational Therapy, 88; Physical Therapy, 101; Physician Assistant, 57; Best Public Affairs Programs, 108; Social Work, 147

Hope College

National Liberal Arts Colleges, 103
Best Undergraduate Teaching, 62
Best Value Schools, 95
High School Counselor Rankings, 89
Engineering Programs, no doctorate offered, 71

Kalamazoo College

National Liberal Arts Colleges, 65
Best Undergraduate Teaching, 39
Best Value Schools, 41
High School Counselor Rankings, 51
Most Innovative Schools, 42

Kuyper College

Regional Colleges Midwest, 54

Western Michigan University

National Universities, 205
High School Counselor Rankings, 220
Top Public Schools, 112
Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs, 167

Main categories

The 312 schools in the national universities category offer a full range of undergraduate, master's and doctoral programs and produce research.

The 233 national liberal arts colleges emphasize undergrad education and award at least half of their degrees in liberal arts fields.

The 322 institutions in the regional colleges category focus on undergraduate education and grant fewer than half their degrees in liberal arts disciplines.

The 656 regional universities offer a full range of undergraduate programs and some master's programs but few doctoral programs.


According to the report, to calculate the overall rank for each school within each category, up to 16 metrics of academic excellence were assigned weights that reflect U.S. News' researched judgment about how much they matter.

Those measures were grouped into several indicators: outcomes, faculty resources, expert opinion, financial resources, student excellence and alumni giving.

This gave each eligible school an overall score between 0 and 100, with the top performer scoring 100.

This year, 92 percent of ranked institutions reported updated data during the collection window.

Undergrad engineering and business schools were ranked solely on peer-assessment surveys. 

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