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By Madelyn Birmingham
Content Writer, Siena Heights University

September 29, 2023, Adrian, Michigan – Siena Heights University (SHU) was recently recognized as a top social mobility performer in the regional Midwest by the 2023-2024 US News & World Report Best Colleges rankings. 

According to the US News and World Report, economically disadvantaged students are less likely to finish college. However, some institutions are more successful than others in advancing social mobility by enrolling and graduating large proportions of disadvantaged students awarded with Pell Grants. Of the more than 1,700 students enrolled at Siena Heights University, approximately 35% received a Pell Grant for the Fall 2023 semester. 

Of 164 colleges and universities ranked for social mobility, Siena Heights University was tied for a ranking of #28, increasing its position from last year’s ranking of #61. The university placed fourth for social mobility of the institutions listed in Michigan. Additionally, Siena Heights University tied at #56 out of 167 ranked institutions for Regional Universities in the Midwest. This ranking was 48 places higher than last year. 

“Siena Heights University’s latest ranking is a direct reflection of our ability to meet financial needs,” said Douglas B. Palmer, PhD, President of Siena Heights University. “It is a testament to our commitment to providing all students with the opportunity to succeed. We are proud to be a place where students from all backgrounds can come together to learn and grow and where they can achieve their academic and personal goals.”

US News & World Report assessed more than 1,500 U.S. bachelor’s degree-granting institutions on various metrics modified to prepare for this year’s rankings. To place more emphasis on social mobility and outcomes, factors such as first-generation graduation rates and performance, as well as the proportion of college graduates earning more than a high school graduate, were included in the 2023-24 methodology. 

Other factors determining these rankings include undergraduate academic reputation, faculty resources, graduation rates, and first-year retention rates. In addition, five long-standing elements were dropped from this year’s calculations: the proportion of graduates seeking federal loans, high school class standing, alumni's giving rate, terminal degree faculty, and class size. 

“This ranking is a reflection of the hard work and dedication of our faculty, staff, and students,” Dr. Palmer continued. “We are committed to providing our students with the resources and support they need to succeed and to have that recognized by the US News & World Report is extremely rewarding.”

Siena Heights University is a Catholic university founded and sponsored by the Adrian Dominican Sisters. Siena Heights is a coeducational North Central accredited institution founded in the liberal arts tradition, offering associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. For more information about Siena Heights University, visit www.sienaheights.edu.

It is the policy of Siena Heights University not to discriminate based on race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, religion, or sexual orientation.



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