Briana Gardner — Staff Writer
Dordt University has been steadily growing for the last fifteen years, breaking record enrollment again last year. But what is causing this new interest in a little, Reformed school in Northwest Iowa?
While there are many factors, one possible cause is the rankings Dordt has been receiving over the past several years. This year, Dordt was ranked the top university in Iowa by US News & World Report. Now, Dordt is continuing to build that credibility with another ranking from College Raptor.
The website declared Dordt a “Hidden Gems College in the Plains Region,” coming in second
behind Luther College for Iowa rankings.
In order to be a Hidden Gems College in the Plains Region, the school must have fewer than 5,000 applicants, fewer than 7,000 undergraduate students, five or more “unique” majors, and an acceptance rate ten percent or higher. Through this rubric, three schools are chosen from each state. According to College Raptor, the rankings’ purpose is to call attention to the schools people may not have heard about.
College Raptor has thirteen hidden gems lists in total, from anywhere between “Most Religiously Affiliated” to “Best STEM.” With so many lists, it is easy for a school to remain unnoticed, regardless of their ranking. Robert Taylor, Dean of Students and vice president of student success at Dordt, appreciates the shoutout regardless.
“It’s always great to be acknowledged by outside entities for holding to your mission,” said Taylor said. “And doing it in such a way that your enrollment and retention are positive.”
Taylor appreciates the acknowledgment, but believes it will not change the way Dordt seeks to live out its mission for each of its students. He said even if people stop recognizing the work Dordt is doing, “we are going to keep doing what we are doing because what we care the most about is that our students are doing well.”