UMSL ranked fifth among ‘50 Best Colleges for Adult Education’

Millennium Student Center

UMSL had a total of 5,515 undergraduate, graduate and professional students 25 or older enrolled as of last fall, and the 3,106 of them who were undergraduates made up more than 38 percent of the university total. (Photo by August Jennewein)

Older students for years have found the University of Missouri–St. Louis to be an ideal setting to learn and pursue degrees that can help them achieve their future goals.

The university is now getting recognition from beyond campus too. Great Value Colleges ranked UMSL fifth on its 2017-18 list of the “50 Best Colleges for Adult Education.”

When compiling its rankings, the publication considered ways each school caters to nontraditional students, many of whom are balancing full-time jobs and the heightened responsibilities that can stem from having a family.

It’s long been part of UMSL’s mission to serve students like that in and around the St. Louis community.

“Students come to UMSL because of its quality programs and welcoming education environment,” UMSL Chancellor Tom George said. “They seek different and better lives – for themselves and their families. This ranking validates years of hard work by our faculty, staff and students who have embraced quality, diversity and inclusion as a pathway to success.”

Great Value Colleges began the ranking process by assembling a list of 100 colleges and universities with the highest percentage of students ages 25 and older, as reported by U.S. News & World Report in the 2015-2016 academic year. It’s a subset of students that has been increasing since 2015 and is projected to continue doing so through 2025, according to the most recent Digest of Education Statistics from the National Center for Education Statistics.

UMSL had a total of 5,515 undergraduate, graduate and professional students 25 or older enrolled as of last fall, and the 3,106 of them who were undergraduates made up more than 38 percent of the university total.

Great Value Colleges next assigned points to each institution based on factors such as affordability, the number of bachelor’s degree programs, the number of online degree programs, graduate study availability and additional programs and services benefiting nontraditional students, such as UMSL’s Veterans Center.

It also considered student-faculty ratio, retention rate and any academic awards and recognition received by each school on the list.

UMSL, not surprisingly, scored highly in each of these areas. Great Value Colleges commended the university for its affordability, 75 percent retention rate for first-year students and friendly student-to-faculty ratio of 17:1 despite its position as the largest public research university in eastern Missouri.

Forbes previously has named UMSL one of “America’s Best Colleges,” and Washington Monthly ranked it among the publication’s “Best Bang for Your Buck” universities in the nation while Military Times has listed it among its “Best for Vets” for three consecutive years.

To view the Great Value Colleges’ complete rankings and read more about the methodology behind them, click here.

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