Schools Ranked by Student-Faculty RatioPage 2

Using the student-to-faculty ratio figures from the NCES database, we calculated how many students each school had per faculty member. Kiplinger recognized that a smaller student-to-faculty ratio is ideal, as that indicates each student is getting more personal instruction.

The NCES database did not have retention rate figures for all of the colleges on our list. We did not, however, want to penalize those colleges without data. To that end, we simply excluded those schools from the rankings in this category.

What is a Low Student-to-Faculty Ratio?

Although student-to-faculty ratios can differ from country to country and even regionally, in some cases, a low student-faculty ratio typically consists of 15:1 or 10:1, students to faculty. Though totals may vary slightly, this ratio describes a class size of roughly 15 or 10 students per every one teacher or faculty member.

Benefits of a Lower Student Faculty Ratio

There are many benefits of choosing a college or university with a low student-teacher ratio, including smaller classes where students can receive individual attention from instructors, accommodation of different learning and teaching styles, and much more.

Smaller Classes

In a smaller classroom environment, there is a much greater opportunity for the teacher to be directly involved with the students. Additionally, instructors of smaller classes often enjoy lighter workloads than their counterparts at larger universities, which means that the coursework can be personally delivered and graded by the instructor, instead of relying on a teaching assistant or other students for help. Students in smaller classes are also less likely to get “lost in the system” when surrounded by hundreds of other students in a large class, all vying for the attention of the professor. Small online course sizes may also be beneficial, as they can offer ease of communication between students and faculty, and better management of discussion groups and video lectures. Increased communication in small classes allows students to build the advanced communication skills they will need in the workplace after graduation.

Individual Attention

In a larger university or class, a lecture-style format is the preferred method of teaching hundreds of students at a time. In these large lecture halls accommodating hundreds of students, those that prefer or require individual attention may be overlooked by the professor or TA. In schools with a lower student faculty ratio, however, students are more likely to have more direct communication through conversations with their teachers, both in and out of the classroom. This one-on-one time with a professor can develop a lasting relationship, which can be beneficial when asking for references for graduate school or job prospects.

Types of Teaching and Learning

Larger classes and a higher student-faculty ratio can lead to an overwhelming amount of “busy work”, including easy-to-grade multiple-choice assignments and superficial tests and quizzes. A smaller class size can allow the breathing room necessary for teachers to assign more projects, papers and written exercises, as well as, take the time to properly evaluate and assess the skills of each student. There may also be greater opportunities to conduct research and collaborate on projects that would, otherwise, have hundreds of students competing for a few limited spots.

Teacher Retention

It has often been said that “quality over quantity” is most important when it comes to education, a theory that could also extend to teachers in all sectors. Recruiting and retaining teachers in an educational environment that has a high student-teacher ratio can be considerably more difficult than in one with a low ratio. The amount of work demanded from faculty in an environment with large classes and a high number of students can place undue stress on teachers, and may cause them to seek other positions. In some cases, the teachers deemed most effective are burdened with the additional responsibility of teaching in larger classes in order to increase test scores, student performance, or collective grade point averages.

RankSchoolStudent to
Faculty Ratio
Graduation
Rate
Retention
Rate
Acceptance
Rate
Enrollment
Rate
Institutional
Aid Rate
Default
Rate
101

Chaminade University of Honolulu

11 to 147%74%82%28%81%9%
102

Illinois Wesleyan University

11 to 183%93%62%12%99%3%
103

North Park University

11 to 152%75%49%9%89%8%
104

Dominican University

11 to 159%79%63%12%90%6%
105

University of St Francis

11 to 165%76%51%13%86%N/A
106

Anderson University

11 to 154%75%60%16%89%5%
107

Cornell College

11 to 168%82%70%14%98%4%
108

Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary

11 to 166%80%64%50%90%3%
109

Maharishi University of Management

11 to 146%90%37%25%68%N/A
110

Wartburg College

11 to 170%80%74%17%94%N/A
111

Friends University

11 to 141%74%58%22%87%10%
112

Asbury University

11 to 163%81%57%19%77%6%
113

Goucher College

11 to 169%82%77%11%90%3%
114

Loyola University Maryland

11 to 181%86%61%7%70%N/A
115

McDaniel College

11 to 170%75%80%15%98%4%
116

Berklee College of Music

11 to 156%87%29%12%53%12%
117

Cleary University

11 to 152%65%72%46%100%7%
118

Hope College

11 to 176%88%72%18%87%3%
119

Spring Arbor University

11 to 152%79%69%19%88%N/A
120

Concordia College at Moorhead

11 to 173%82%78%23%96%2%
121

Minneapolis College of Art and Design

11 to 160%82%66%26%94%9%
122

Belhaven University

11 to 147%67%51%9%93%6%
123

Fontbonne University

11 to 154%79%97%36%76%10%
124

Saint Louis University

11 to 171%90%63%12%54%N/A
125

William Woods University

11 to 152%75%73%21%90%N/A
126

Creighton University

11 to 179%90%70%11%91%N/A
127

Adelphi University

11 to 167%84%72%9%88%5%
128

Canisius College

11 to 170%83%87%14%92%6%
129

CUNY Hunter College

11 to 154%83%39%8%56%5%
130

Ithaca College

11 to 176%86%67%11%88%3%
131

St Bonaventure University

11 to 164%86%66%13%99%7%
132

St Lawrence University

11 to 187%89%46%12%93%N/A
133

Saint Joseph's College-New York

11 to 168%86%68%16%82%N/A
134

Utica College

11 to 142%70%83%13%76%8%
135

Salem College

11 to 160%83%62%21%95%7%
136

Valley City State University

11 to 141%71%86%52%56%N/A
137

Ohio Northern University

11 to 169%86%69%19%75%3%
138

Xavier University

11 to 174%83%72%11%92%N/A
139

Linfield College-McMinnville Campus

11 to 163%86%84%20%96%3%
140

Pacific University

11 to 171%77%79%16%93%3%
141

Summit University of Pennsylvania

11 to 159%74%61%32%74%N/A
142

Carlow University

11 to 150%77%81%24%87%5%
143

Lebanon Valley College

11 to 174%85%72%14%94%3%
144

Muhlenberg College

11 to 185%93%48%12%82%N/A
145

Presbyterian College

11 to 170%81%62%13%89%4%
146

Saint Michael's College

11 to 176%87%76%10%98%N/A
147

Pacific Lutheran University

11 to 168%83%76%18%96%3%
148

Whitworth University

11 to 175%95%62%13%94%N/A
149

Wheeling Jesuit University

11 to 154%72%61%15%79%N/A
150

Viterbo University

11 to 151%78%66%20%85%N/A
151

Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences

11 to 168%100%53%37%42%N/A
152

Samford University

12 to 174%89%93%26%88%N/A
153

Laguna College of Art and Design

12 to 166%84%37%21%100%6%
154

Whittier College

12 to 166%80%63%9%94%N/A
155

Fairfield University

12 to 182%89%65%9%75%1%
156

Quinnipiac University

12 to 176%87%74%8%83%N/A
157

American University

12 to 181%88%35%11%63%4%
158

Hobe Sound Bible College

12 to 156%75%N/AN/A55%11%
159

Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale

12 to 168%89%N/AN/A93%18%
160

University of Miami

12 to 182%92%38%6%70%N/A
161

Berry College

12 to 164%83%55%13%99%4%
162

Augustana College

12 to 176%86%49%10%97%5%
163

Bradley University

12 to 174%86%66%10%94%3%
164

Bethel College-Indiana

12 to 164%78%66%14%84%9%
165

University of Evansville

12 to 168%81%70%12%91%5%
166

Oakland City University

12 to 163%71%55%10%24%10%
167

Taylor University

12 to 177%87%85%30%84%N/A
168

Central College

12 to 167%78%64%10%94%4%
169

Luther College

12 to 177%85%67%16%97%3%
170

Northwest Iowa Community College

12 to 156%75%N/AN/A30%11%
171

Baker University

12 to 160%77%82%21%73%6%
172

Clear Creek Baptist Bible College

12 to 146%80%N/AN/A90%N/A
173

Loyola University New Orleans

12 to 166%77%90%19%92%5%
174

Saint Joseph's College of Maine

12 to 158%86%78%20%56%N/A
175

Capitol Technology University

12 to 135%87%97%23%71%7%
176

Mount St Mary's University

12 to 169%75%67%8%95%4%
177

Notre Dame of Maryland University

12 to 154%79%52%11%59%8%
178

Assumption College

12 to 173%83%76%12%92%4%
179

Bay Path University

12 to 157%80%77%16%76%9%
180

Boston University

12 to 185%93%33%7%49%N/A
181

Lawrence Technological University

12 to 156%81%55%16%51%7%
182

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

12 to 190%97%26%12%51%N/A
183

Michigan Technological University

12 to 165%87%75%24%86%5%
184

Siena Heights University

12 to 137%72%77%17%71%6%
185

Augsburg College

12 to 156%79%59%16%82%5%
186

Bethel University

12 to 174%84%95%40%89%3%
187

Martin Luther College

12 to 173%83%78%66%94%N/A
188

University of Minnesota-Morris

12 to 165%77%60%11%74%6%
189

Rockhurst University

12 to 171%85%74%12%68%6%
190

Grace University

12 to 146%93%59%32%86%5%
191

Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing & Allied Health

12 to 173%81%34%19%72%N/A
192

Caldwell University

12 to 164%82%64%9%74%9%
193

Rider University

12 to 164%80%69%9%87%7%
194

New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

12 to 149%75%24%21%73%6%
195

Houghton College

12 to 173%84%95%35%97%4%
196

The Sage Colleges

12 to 160%78%54%11%90%N/A
197

Saint John Fisher College

12 to 172%86%62%12%96%N/A
198

Elon University

12 to 183%90%57%15%54%2%
199

Pfeiffer University

12 to 143%69%47%10%75%8%
200

Minot State University

12 to 143%75%57%41%59%N/A

Methodology

For each college, we gathered data for nine different metrics: the number of full-time faculty per part-time faculty member; institutional financial aid, acceptance, retention, graduation, job placement, and default rates; years accredited; and undergraduate tuition. Learn more