The Fine Print

Ranked No. 1 in Michigan for earnings among graduates from all backgrounds

Washington Monthly has named Western the best public university in Michigan for graduate success based on 10 years of earnings following enrollment. Western ranks No. 1 in graduate earnings and No. 2 in graduation rates, measured among students across all socioeconomic backgrounds. Western offers more students the greatest opportunity to prosper.

The ranking is based on the difference between actual and predicted earnings of all students 10 years after starting college, after controlling for student demographics and majors, living costs and other factors. You can read the full report.

A separate study concluded, 10 years after enrolling, the average income of former Western students who are working and no longer in school is 43% higher than the national median. (Sources: U.S. Department of Education College Scorecard / Department of Treasury).

Ranked No. 1 in Michigan for social mobility

In 2019, U.S. News & World Report ranked Western a Top Performer for social mobility. Western is more successful than any other university in Michigan at advancing social mobility by enrolling and graduating large proportions of students who have received Pell Grants. This ranking places Western in the top 100 of both private and public universities in the nation and in the top 50 of all public universities in the nation. At Western, it’s not where you start, it’s where you finish.

The ranking methodology included, among other factors, graduation rates for Pell Grant recipients and comparison of graduation rates between Pell Grant recipients and non-Pell Grant students. You can read more about the ranking.

Post-Graduation Activity Survey and Report

Western Michigan University conducts the annual Post-Graduation Activity Survey in accordance with the “Standards and Protocols for the Collection and Dissemination of Graduating Student Initial Career Outcomes Information,” published by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

The survey includes data from students who graduate with bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degrees during the reporting year. For 2019-20, Western surveyed the 4,927 students who earned their degrees between August 2019 and June 2020. Post-graduation activity data was obtained for 3,493 graduates, or 71% of the population. You can read the 2019-20 report.