Fall colors on center campus at Andrews University, photo credit Laura Malcom, assistant director, Alumni Services

October 22, 2020

Andrews University Fall 2020 Enrollment & Ranking Report

As Andrews University returned to in-person instruction on its Berrien Springs campus, its annual fall census report on Sept. 9 reported that 3,171 students were enrolled on or through the Berrien Springs campus of Andrews University, a decrease from the 3,412 headcount enrollment during the 2019 fall semester.

Andrews University had planned for the impact of COVID-19 on University operations with its August reopening, and the University’s operating budget was adjusted to allow for an anticipated 5 percent decrease in enrollment levels and tuition income this school year.

The fall census report numbers show a 5.2 percent decrease in credit hours, which aligns with the University’s adjusted budget decrease of 5 percent in income and expense levels for fall semester.

To help prepare for a return to in-person teaching this fall semester amidst potential risks and threats from the global COVID-19 pandemic, Andrews University developed and introduced a series of careful plans this summer to guide the reopening and safe operations of our University. This Framework for Reopening was developed in the months following the University's March 12, 2020, decision to switch to remote learning and temporarily close our Berrien Springs campus to all but essential workers.


With this overall census figure of 3,171 headcount enrollment, Andrews University again had roughly equal numbers of undergraduate and graduate students enrolled on its main campus. Those include 1,588 graduate students and 1,583 undergraduate students (the undergraduate number includes 159 high school students taking University courses).

Within this year’s fall undergraduate enrollment, there were 257 new freshmen/FTIAC (First Time In Any College) enrolled. There were 98 new undergraduate transfer students who enrolled.

Altogether, 317 new graduate students and 48 new resuming graduate students also enrolled on or through the University’s Berrien Springs campus.

“Even amidst the challenges that have come with the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic, we are so grateful for our new and returning students who, along with their families, have made the significant commitment to join us for in-person studies this fall semester,” says Andrea Luxton, president of Andrews University.

“One of the consistent great strengths of our Andrews University community comes when we gather together and in person. After several months of remote learning and work assignments, it’s a powerful and transforming thing for so many of us to gather together once more on our main Berrien Springs campus.”

Tony Yang, vice president for Strategy, Marketing & Enrollment Management, notes, “With the impact and implications of COVID-19 on our world, we’ve chosen an additional phrase to more powerfully describe our University’s purpose and ultimate goal: World Changers for a changing world.” He adds, “This summer, our entire campus community, including our Enrollment, Student Financial Services, Residence Life and Student Life teams—along with faculty and staff across our campus—worked hard to personally and proactively connect with our students and their families as they planned to attend this fall.”

A new website was launched that focused on our reopening campus and providing key information and updates for the Andrews University community, including employees, students and student families. “Our new site includes inspiring and hopeful video messages from administrators, faculty and staff that help confirm our Andrews University community of ‘World Changers are resilient, adaptable and tenacious … that we have never been one to back down from a challenge,’” says Yang.


In addition to taking measure of the fall semester and year-round census of students, the fall season is also when a wide array of school rankings is released, including the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Edition, the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings and a host of others.

In the perhaps best-known ranking system, U.S. News Best Colleges Edition, Andrews University continues to be the only Seventh-day Adventist university recognized as a national university for its distinguished research and range of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. Andrews University ranks in the fourth tier of the nearly 400 national universities included on the list (there are currently more than 5,000 universities and colleges in the United States).

In those 2021 U.S. News Best Colleges rankings, Andrews University is one of only a few national universities that ranks in both the Top Ten lists for ethnic diversity (#2) and most international students (#7).

“These rankings once again confirm Andrews University is blessed with remarkable diversity,” says Michael Nixon, vice president for Diversity & Inclusion.

“That diversity represents a nearly unparalleled first hand opportunity for the Andrews University community to better understand and seek to effectively address the often overwhelming realities and challenges that our diverse world faces.”

In other U.S. News 2021 Best Colleges rankings, the University’s online bachelor’s programs and online MBA are both ranked in their top 200 online program categories nationally. The University’s graduate programs in nursing, physical therapy and public health are also ranked in the top 200 programs nationally.

Other significant annual rankings for Andrews University include the following:

  • Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education Rankings lists just over 800 institutions on its annual list (which represents roughly 15 percent of the more than 5,000 universities and colleges in the U.S.). With its #371 ranking, Andrews University ranks in the top 50 percent of that list.
  • Andrews University is included among the nearly 400 top national universities ranked and included in the Washington Monthly 2020 National University rankings, which are based on the basis of “social mobility, research, and promoting public service.”
  • College Factual’s rankings are based, in particular, on graduation and retention rates, student loan default rates and early and mid-career earnings of graduates. In College Factual’s latest rankings, Andrews University was ranked as #538, or in the top 35 percent of more than 1,700 universities and colleges ranked.

Additionally, Andrews was ranked by College Factual as being in the top 5 percent of all universities for overall and ethnic diversity and in the top 15 percent for “Best for the Money” and “Best for the Money With Aid.”

  • In the Niche 2021 Best Colleges rankings, Andrews University was ranked as the second most diverse university out of 1,589 institutions ranked nationally.

Also, in those national rankings by Niche, Andrews University was in the top 10 percent of Best College Food and in the top 20 percent nationally of the Colleges with the Best Academics and for Best Colleges for Kinesiology and Physical Therapy.

In Niche’s rankings for the state of Michigan, Andrews was ranked first for diversity and in the Top Ten overall in the state of Michigan for Best College Food, Best Christian Colleges, Best Small Colleges, Colleges with the Best Academics, Top Private Universities and Best Colleges for Biology.

Founded in 1874, Andrews University is the flagship institution of higher education for the Seventh-day Adventist Church and offers more than 160 areas of study, including advanced degrees. Its main campus is in Berrien Springs, Michigan, but the University also provides instruction at colleges and universities in more than 25 countries around the world.


Originally published in Andrews Agenda

By: Stephen Payne, special assistant to the president, University & Public Affairs