Photo Credit: Anthony Bosman, PhD, and Stephen Payne
United States | Anthony Bosman, PhD, and Stephen Payne

This fall semester, on its Berrien Springs, Michigan, campus, Andrews University is celebrating a strong round of national rankings as well as a modest increase in student enrollment following nationwide enrollment challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rankings

In the 2024 U.S. News Best Colleges rankings, released in September 2023, Andrews University continues to be the only Adventist university listed among 439 national universities identified in the ranking of nearly 1,500 colleges and universities. This national university status, based on the Carnegie Classification system, reflects Andrews’ full range of undergraduate majors as well as master’s and doctoral degrees and a strong emphasis on research.

In this year’s U.S. News rankings, Andrews University was again ranked the #1 most ethnically diverse national university, tying with the University of San Francisco. Andrews University was also tied for #7 (with Columbia University and Florida Institute of Technology) among national universities for most international students, with more than 100 countries represented in the current student body. The main campus student body also has students from all but four of the 50 states in the U.S.

“From its first days as Battle Creek College in 1874, to today’s remarkable, ethnically diverse and international campus, Andrews University has been committed to learning about and changing the world, and to do that in the context of God’s kingdom,” says John Wesley Taylor V, who joined Andrews University as its seventh president in July 2023. “These rankings from the U.S. News Best Colleges report, and other 2024 national rankings, continue to reflect Andrews University’s unparalleled strength in meeting and excelling in this commitment, not just within the system of Adventist education but also in the context of U.S. higher education overall.”

Andrews University also did well in Niche.com’s 2024 Best Colleges in America rankings, where it was included in the top 15 Christian colleges in the U.S. out of more than 300. Niche identified Andrews University as the top private university in Michigan as well as the top Christian college in the state. Niche also ranked Andrews in the top 15 percent of all colleges and universities in the nation for best academics. In addition to academic quality, Niche awarded Andrews high marks in overall value, campus diversity, quality of food, and campus safety.

Andrews University was also named to the “America’s Best Colleges 2024” list by the Wall Street Journal/College Pulse. Andrews was one of three Christian universities in Michigan and the only Adventist university in the nation that was included in the list of the nation’s top 400 universities. In these Wall Street Journal rankings, Andrews also received the top ranking among all universities in Michigan in the category of Student Experience, which takes into account student satisfaction with campus facilities, sense of community, mental health support, and a number of other factors, including the quality of positive interactions within the ethnically and socioeconomically diverse student body. The WSJ analysis also reported that the value added by an Andrews undergraduate degree works out to be an average increase of more than $25,000 in annual salary, compared to high school graduates in Michigan.

“Andrews University continues to be fully committed to measurable quality and success in the education it offers to the 3,000 students who study on our main campus each year,“ says Christon Arthur, provost of Andrews University.

Amy Rebok Rosenthal, associate provost for undergraduate education and dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, adds, “Andrews University’s commitment extends to assuring quality and success in the current studies and life of each one of our students, including their overall student experience while they earn an Andrews degree. It also seeks to assure significant and measurable success in our students’ graduate studies and careers beyond our campus as each one seeks to ‘Change the World,’ one of the core goals of our Andrews University mission statement.”

Enrollment

Andrews University’s fall semester census, conducted on September 13, 2023, reveals modest enrollment growth this year, a welcome reversal of a period of enrollment decline experienced by universities across the nation in the years immediately following the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020.

The latest census of those who enroll on or through the main campus showed 2,972 students enrolled—47 more than last year’s fall enrollment of 2,925, which represents a 2-percent increase in enrollment.

This fall, among those who are enrolled on or through the Berrien Springs main campus, there are 1,427 undergraduate students (up from 1,416 last year) and 1,545 graduate students (up from 1,509). Notably, Andrews University’s incoming freshman class of 272 FTIACs (First Time in Any College) is up 20 percent, increasing from 226 FTIACs last year. Meanwhile, the number of new undergraduate transfer students remains steady, slightly increasing from 89 to 91. New graduate student enrollment (including new Master of Divinity students in the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary) is up 8 percent over last year, with 347 new graduate students enrolling in Fall 2023, compared to 321 last year.

An additional 204 students are also registered and studying at international campus partners and programs this semester, which makes for an overall worldwide Andrews University Fall 2023 enrollment of 3,176.

Additionally, Andrews University continues to enroll students throughout the year, including those who study through national and international student cohorts in graduate programs. As a result, the Fall Census numbers don’t show the full picture of how many students enroll at Andrews throughout the year. An annual unduplicated headcount, which is released later in the year, best shows overall enrollment at Andrews during the year. In late 2022, that annual duplicated headcount analysis showed 4,307 different students enrolled at Andrews between 2021 and 2022. “Our fall semester enrollment statistics reflect the importance of a strong focus each year in encouraging our undergraduate and graduate students to continue their studies once they’ve begun; and also the growth in our student populations shows the overall work of our enrollment team and the entire campus community,“ says Arthur.

Tony Yang, vice president for Strategy, Marketing & Enrollment, adds, “The hard and significant work each summer before a new school year begins includes support from our enrollment and admissions teams, as well as from faculty and staff across campus, in areas ranging from academic programs to Student Financial Services, Campus & Student Life, and International Student Services.”

Yang continues, “Each one of the frontline faculty and staff members across our campus is essential to our efforts to recruit and successfully enroll new students each fall semester on our Andrews University main campus. In particular, I’m excited to see a 20-percent growth in new freshmen this fall, which not only helped increase our current overall enrollment but helps provide a foundation for future growth as these new freshmen continue their studies toward undergraduate and, in some cases, graduate degrees here at Andrews University.”

President Taylor notes, “It’s an honor to now serve as Andrews University’s president, especially since my father, my son, and I are each privileged to hold degrees from this amazing, global, Seventh-day Adventist Christian university. When we seek to best describe the education and inspiration Andrews offers to our students, we typically use the phrase, ‘World Changers Made Here.’ Behind that statement is a commitment that we make in the context of God and His calling for our lives and for this institution. It is both deeply fulfilling and exciting to be part of the work to daily fulfill our Andrews University mission to Seek Knowledge, Affirm Faith, and Change the World, through the lives of each one of our students and graduates, and through the passionate work and commitment of our campus family of faculty, staff, and administrators.”

The original version of this story was posted on the Andrews University website.

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