College Ratings: Alumni Rank APU Among Top 25 Universities Nationwide

by Stephanie Thurrott

When students are trying to find the school that’s the best fit for them, they often turn to college ratings. Sites like Niche, publications like U.S. News & World Report, and resources like Naviance offer information that can help guide their choices.

Yet it’s alumni who are really best positioned to provide ratings around their schools. They experienced everything their schools had to offer, and they know firsthand how well their education prepared them for their career paths.

In fact, a study published in The Journal of Consumer Affairs ranked the top 25 universities in the United States based on alumni ratings. A lot of big names made the list—Princeton, Yale, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology were the top three schools. Also on that list? Azusa Pacific University, which came in at 22, ahead of the University of Chicago, the University of California-Berkeley, and the University of Southern California.

The study asked alumni how strongly they agreed with 14 statements, such as:

  • You received a high-quality education.
  • You would recommend the educational path you took to other people like you.
  • Your education was worth the cost.
  • If you had to do it all over again, you would attend the same institution.

The college ratings study is significant for a couple of reasons. For one, it analyzed a lot of data. The information came from the Strada-Gallup Education Consumer Survey of 146,345 college graduates who attended 2,898 different colleges and universities. The Journal of Consumer Affairs, where the study’s results were published, is a credible, peer-reviewed journal.

Alumni Ratings Are Strong Indicators of Quality

A Forbes article about the study pointed out that, like Yelp or Consumer Reports, asking alumni how they rate their alma maters provides reviews from actual graduates.

The study’s author, Jonathan Rothwell, concluded that alumni ratings are a valuable way to predict college satisfaction. “Indeed, the mean ratings of at least 20 other alumni provide a better prediction of individual satisfaction than popular college rankings from media sources,” he wrote. “I conclude that survey-based consumer ratings of postsecondary institutions can provide valid and reliable quality comparisons.”

Rachel Johnson, Ed.D., senior director of alumni and parent engagement at APU, highlighted that alumni are in a unique position to share their thoughts about their educational experiences. “Alumni ratings provide a persuasive opportunity to showcase the benefits of the institution,” she said. “The alumni population has already experienced the educational, social, spiritual, and personal development opportunities, and their ratings provide valuable insight to prospective and current students.”

APU Alumni Value Their Education, Growth, and Opportunities

Johnson also noted that she has found many Azusa Pacific alumni describe their time on campus as a transformative experience on a holistic level. “There is a fierce sense of loyalty from APU alumni due to the spiritual growth, sense of community, exceptional academic standards, and leadership development opportunities they experienced here,” she explained. “Their endorsement underscores the value of the education we provide, and we are proud of the character and competence exemplified by those we graduate to serve in many diverse fields.”

Getting high scores from graduates speaks to the level of value each experienced both during their time on campus and afterward. It’s things like the tight-knit community, dedication to service, and access to potential career opportunities that set schools like APU apart from the rest.

Azusa Pacific University President Paul W. Ferguson, Ph.D., DABT, noted how APU’s high ratings from alumni showcase the value they’ve gained from their education. “Alumni ratings are among the best determinants of higher education quality, and APU’s inclusion on this list gives evidence that our extraordinary alumni continue to reflect positively on the contribution to their lives and careers from the academically rigorous, Christ-centered education they received long after they graduate,” he said.

Interested in exploring how an Azusa Pacific education could transform your life? Learn more about APU and take the next step in your education journey!