Schools Ranked by Student-Faculty RatioPage 5

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
401

The University of Findlay

16 to 156%78%76%23%92%N/A
402

Oral Roberts University

16 to 158%80%64%18%87%10%
403

University of Western States

16 to 188%N/AN/AN/A56%N/A
404

Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus

16 to 186%93%51%14%68%N/A
405

Anderson University

16 to 149%73%55%20%87%9%
406

Cumberland University

16 to 145%70%49%29%87%11%
407

King University

16 to 145%73%44%17%71%8%
408

University of Utah

16 to 164%89%81%28%51%N/A
409

George Mason University

16 to 169%87%69%14%41%2%
410

James Madison University

16 to 183%91%73%21%34%3%
411

Longwood University

16 to 166%80%79%22%48%5%
412

Milwaukee School of Engineering

16 to 164%87%65%22%89%5%
413

Unitek College

16 to 1N/A100%N/AN/A20%N/A
414

University of California-Berkeley

17 to 192%96%17%7%61%N/A
415

University of California-Santa Barbara

17 to 181%93%33%6%66%N/A
416

University of La Verne

17 to 164%85%47%9%73%N/A
417

University of Connecticut

17 to 183%92%53%11%62%N/A
418

North Florida Community College

17 to 152%70%N/AN/A60%N/A
419

Warner University

17 to 140%72%51%36%99%N/A
420

Georgia College and State University

17 to 160%86%76%37%79%5%
421

Moody Bible Institute

17 to 169%86%68%48%80%N/A
422

Indiana University-Bloomington

17 to 177%89%78%23%59%5%
423

University of Northern Iowa

17 to 168%80%80%36%55%N/A
424

University of Kentucky

17 to 163%83%89%28%78%6%
425

University of Maryland-College Park

17 to 186%95%45%14%52%N/A
426

Towson University

17 to 170%86%73%25%47%N/A
427

University of Massachusetts-Lowell

17 to 156%86%57%15%55%N/A
428

Westfield State University

17 to 163%79%80%25%56%N/A
429

Grand Valley State University

17 to 167%84%81%24%65%4%
430

Michigan State University

17 to 177%92%66%23%51%N/A
431

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

17 to 177%93%45%13%50%N/A
432

Park University

17 to 143%59%40%11%37%10%
433

Plymouth State University

17 to 158%76%74%20%61%5%
434

Montclair State University

17 to 166%83%70%26%51%5%
435

Ramapo College of New Jersey

17 to 174%86%53%13%43%N/A
436

Stockton University

17 to 173%87%64%21%56%N/A
437

CUNY Bernard M Baruch College

17 to 170%91%32%7%56%5%
438

Fashion Institute of Technology

17 to 175%90%41%27%41%7%
439

Stony Brook University

17 to 168%90%41%8%57%N/A
440

SUNY Polytechnic Institute

17 to 149%74%60%15%69%N/A
441

SUNY College at Oswego

17 to 166%80%51%14%76%N/A
442

SUNY Maritime College

17 to 156%87%68%25%54%8%
443

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

17 to 156%77%59%26%55%N/A
444

University of North Carolina Wilmington

17 to 171%85%61%18%53%N/A
445

Concordia University-Portland

17 to 148%74%51%8%100%N/A
446

South Dakota State University

17 to 154%76%92%44%58%5%
447

University of South Dakota

17 to 152%77%74%31%54%N/A
448

The University of Tennessee-Knoxville

17 to 170%85%76%28%75%7%
449

Trevecca Nazarene University

17 to 151%77%73%31%77%6%
450

Virginia Commonwealth University

17 to 162%86%79%27%55%N/A
451

Mountain State College

17 to 192%83%N/AN/A6%18%
452

Apex School of Theology

17 to 195%97%N/AN/A99%11%
453

University of Alabama at Birmingham

18 to 155%79%60%21%58%N/A
454

Northern Arizona University

18 to 152%74%77%17%64%9%
455

California Baptist University

18 to 160%76%65%26%85%8%
456

University of California-Davis

18 to 185%93%38%8%72%N/A
457

University of California-Santa Cruz

18 to 178%88%50%8%74%N/A
458

University of Colorado Boulder

18 to 171%86%80%20%43%4%
459

Colorado State University-Fort Collins

18 to 167%87%81%26%50%4%
460

University of North Florida

18 to 155%80%57%14%61%8%
461

University of Georgia

18 to 185%95%53%24%82%N/A
462

University of Illinois at Chicago

18 to 160%81%77%22%65%N/A
463

Illinois State University

18 to 173%82%88%30%50%4%
464

University of Massachusetts-Amherst

18 to 178%91%58%12%69%N/A
465

University of Northwestern-St Paul

18 to 166%82%87%33%59%N/A
466

Saint Mary's University of Minnesota

18 to 161%80%78%19%69%N/A
467

Crown College

18 to 156%68%53%15%80%6%
468

University of Mississippi

18 to 161%87%79%22%68%8%
469

Rivier University

18 to 143%77%57%11%60%N/A
470

Rowan University

18 to 167%86%71%18%43%N/A
471

Monroe College

18 to 153%78%45%28%92%10%
472

SUNY College of Technology at Alfred

18 to 150%88%57%22%80%N/A
473

SUNY at Albany

18 to 168%82%56%12%60%N/A
474

East Carolina University

18 to 162%80%69%25%50%N/A
475

North Dakota State University-Main Campus

18 to 154%78%94%48%56%3%
476

University of Cincinnati-Main Campus

18 to 162%88%86%29%58%N/A
477

Ohio University-Main Campus

18 to 167%79%74%21%53%N/A
478

University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus

18 to 166%86%78%35%62%N/A
479

Oregon State University

18 to 164%85%78%26%54%N/A
480

Clarion University of Pennsylvania

18 to 149%73%96%43%62%8%
481

Southern Wesleyan University

18 to 150%69%62%22%80%12%
482

Clemson University

18 to 181%93%51%15%71%N/A
483

Dakota State University

18 to 138%74%81%38%39%9%
484

The University of Texas at Austin

18 to 180%95%39%18%45%N/A
485

Texas Woman's University

18 to 141%76%86%24%67%8%
486

Liberty University

18 to 147%75%22%10%84%N/A
487

Western Washington University

18 to 171%82%82%28%48%N/A
488

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

18 to 168%85%80%34%43%N/A
489

University of Wisconsin-Madison

18 to 185%96%58%22%42%N/A
490

University of California-Merced

18 to 166%84%61%9%88%N/A
491

Auburn University

19 to 173%90%78%25%53%6%
492

University of Arkansas

19 to 162%82%60%24%58%N/A
493

University of California-Irvine

19 to 188%93%39%8%73%N/A
494

University of California-Riverside

19 to 173%91%56%11%84%N/A
495

Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus

19 to 185%97%32%11%63%N/A
496

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

19 to 185%93%66%22%51%N/A
497

Iowa State University

19 to 171%87%87%33%67%5%
498

Kansas State University

19 to 162%83%95%39%57%6%
499

University of Maryland-Baltimore County

19 to 163%86%59%15%51%N/A
500

Mississippi State University

19 to 160%82%65%28%78%8%

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