GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — For the third straight year, Aquinas College in Grand Rapids was named by U.S. News and World Reports on two reports — a Top Performer on Social Mobility among national liberal arts colleges and ranked as a top National Liberal Arts College.
Not only was AQ named again this year, on each list, they improved their performance from a year ago. The Saints jumped 40 spots from last year to reach 40th on the social mobility list. That lists how well colleges enrolled and graduated economically disadvantaged students, like those receiving Pell grants.
“These rankings demonstrate Aquinas College’s strength in helping students complete their degrees and get jobs after graduation,” President Kevin G. Quinn said. “We offer high value to our students and their families so that they can achieve their own version of success through personalized education, faculty mentorship, experiential learning and career guidance in an affordable, accessible way.”
U.S. News and World Report say that “Economically disadvantaged students are less likely than others to finish college, even when controlling for other characteristics. But some colleges are more successful than others at advancing social mobility by enrolling and graduating large proportions of disadvantaged students awarded with Pell Grants.”
“Aquinas College has a robust history as a Catholic and Dominican institution that prioritizes the educational attainment of its students — in particular with families who may believe that college is not always financially feasible,” said Erin Craig, vice president for enrollment management. “As reinforced in our new strategic plan, the College is deeply committed to being an inclusive environment for all and expanding our reputation as an affordable and student-centered institution is integral to how we live out our mission.”
In addition to its higher ranking in the social mobility list, Aquinas improved its position among National Liberal Arts Colleges to 152nd. The list emphasizes undergraduate education among 223 national higher education institutions that emphasize undergraduate education and award at least half of their degrees in the liberal arts fields of study.