For The Catholic Messenger
DAVENPORT — St. Ambrose University is the only Iowa private university included in the top 30 schools in the Regional Universities-Midwest category of the U.S. News and World Report’s 2022 Best Colleges rankings.
St. Ambrose rose to No. 27, up 11 spots from a year ago, in the news outlet’s annual evaluation of schools that offer a full range of undergraduate programs, masters programs and doctoral degrees.
The university also ranked 27th — up from No. 42 a year ago — in the category of Best Value Schools among Midwest Universities.
“Because the quality of a St. Ambrose education is weighed equally with cost in this assessment, we very much welcome this recognition,” said Amy Novak, the university’s president. “We will continue to strive to improve the quality of our academic experience while also doing everything we can to ensure an SAU degree is an affordable option for every student who wants to pursue their education here.”
The university also has been included among 158 Midwest universities and colleges in The Princeton Review’s 2022 Best Colleges: Region by Region. In this annual report, 654 Midwest colleges and universities were evaluated in order to identify the leading 158.
“This is affirmation for the St. Ambrose faculty and staff who work extremely hard to ensure the experience we offer is among the best anywhere,” Novak said. “I am honored and humbled to lead a university where academic excellence is a standard recognized and appreciated by our students. We look forward to earning many more such honors.”
St. Ambrose is one of 12 Iowa private schools — one of 16 Iowa schools in total — to receive a 2022 Best Colleges designation. The Review’s evaluations are based on academic excellence as well as feedback from students on all aspects of their college experience.
Among the comments The Princeton Review shared, a student noted: “One of Ambrose’s best features is the caring faculty and staff.” A first-year student shared evidence of that commitment, noting all of his professors shared home and cell phone numbers to ensure students could find help when they needed it. “They are willing to help you in any way, academically or otherwise,” the student said.
In the U.S. News and World Report rankings, St. Ambrose also was one of 50 Midwest universities included in the annual Best Colleges for Veterans assessment. The university was No. 39 in the category.
“We are here to assist our veterans and current members of the military as they make use of their hard-earned educational benefits,” said Natalie Woodhurst, a 2016 St. Ambrose graduate and Air Force veteran and SAU’s Coordinator for Veterans Recruitment and Services. “Our veterans deserve the best experience and education we can provide.”
Three SAU academic programs — engineering, nursing and computer science — were among a handful of Iowa schools ranked among the best in the nation by the U.S. News and World Report rating system.