National Publications Recognize Alma College for Quality

Alma College rises to the top in the annual reviews by Colleges of Distinction, Fiske Guide to Colleges, Great Value Colleges and the Princeton Review.

Several national entities have recognized Alma College for institutional quality, applying such descriptive phrases as “college of distinction,” “great value,” “best and most interesting” and “best in the Midwest.”

Alma Named ‘College of Distinction’

Colleges of Distinction, a national college guide for students, parents and counselors, identifies Alma College as “one of the best places to learn, grow and succeed” in its 2014-15 publication. Colleges of Distinction recognizes institutions for their commitment to ”engaged students, great teaching, vibrant communities and successful outcomes.”

“We focus on colleges that are deeply dedicated to students’ learning,” said Tyson Schritter, executive editor of Colleges of Distinction. “Schools designated as ‘Colleges of Distinction’ offer innovative learning experiences that educate, nurture and transform students.”

Fiske Guide Selects Alma College

Alma College is highlighted in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 as one of its 300 “best and most interesting” schools in the United States, Canada and Great Britain. Compiled by former New York Times education editor Edward Fiske, the guide profiles the selected schools’ student body, academic quality, social life, financial aid, campus setting, housing and extracurricular activities.

The publication describes Alma as “the college that put the ‘Alma’ back in ‘alma mater.’ As friendly a campus as you’ll find, Alma savors its Scottish heritage and combines the liberal arts with distinctive offerings in health and pre-professional fields.”

‘Great Value’

The website Great Value Colleges ranks Alma College 11th among private schools in its top 25 list of “Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest,” announced in August 2014. Quality indicators, according to the website, include graduation rate, freshman retention rate, student-to-faculty ratio, percentage of classes taught by graduate assistants, average entrance ACT score, number of campus organizations and number of academic programs.

“Alma College may not be well known outside the state of Michigan, but it should be,” according to the rankings. “It has a 12:1 student-to-teacher ratio and over 120 student organizations and academic programs.”

‘Best in the Midwest’

The Princeton Review selected Alma College as one of 159 institutions it recommends as “Best in the Midwest” for 2014-15. An education services company, the Princeton Review annually rates institutions on academic rigor, admissions selectivity, quality of campus life and financial aid. It divided the country into four regions and identified 648 colleges as academically excellent institutions of higher learning.

Ratings are calculated from student survey results and institutional data. The 12-state Midwest region comprises Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Collectively, the 648 colleges named “regional best” constitute about 25 percent of the nation’s 2,500 four-year colleges.

The Princeton Review website quotes Alma students, who say Alma “encourages extracurricular involvement while maintaining academic excellence” with the goal of encouraging students to “take responsibility, become leaders, and be academically and socially challenged to excel.”


Story published on August 15, 2014