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U.S News & World Report (2017)

Ranked 35th (tie) by US News & World Report Regional Universities Midwest out of a region of 12 states. The publication gathers data from each college on up to 15 indicators of academic excellence. Each factor is assigned a weight that reflects U.S. News' judgment about how much that measure matters. Finally, the colleges and universities in each category are ranked against their peers, based on their composite weighted score.

In other categories, US News & World Report ranked SAU as 12th best college for veterans (due to participation in federal initiatives helping veterans and active-duty service members pay for their degrees), and 34th in Best Value (calculated by 15-16 net cost of attendance).


For several years, St. Ambrose University has been a leader among institutions of higher education for its support of volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement. In 2015, St. Ambrose was recognized with Distinction on the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in the Category of General Community Service. The university was one of hundreds of Honor Roll colleges and universities, nationwide, commended in 2015 by President Barack Obama for engaging its students, faculty and staff in meaningful service that achieves measurable results in the community.

In 2006, the Quad City Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) recognized the philanthropic efforts of St. Ambrose students at its annual Awards for Philanthropy program. The students received AFP's highest honor for Outstanding Youth Group during the organization's Philanthropy Day reception and awards presentation. Students continue to raise funds and provide volunteer support in the areas of education, the environment and affordable housing, to name a few.

In 2005, Davenport-based River Action Inc. presented Ambrose with the Eddy Stewardship Award, honoring the university for working to support and care for the Mississippi River and maintain its viability as a business and recreational resource.

The State Historical Society of Iowa awarded Ambrose a 2005 "Kids Count!" certificate of merit award for excellence in service to youth researchers.

See more about Service at St. Ambrose

Athletics (2015-16)

The St. Ambrose University Athletic Department measures success in three categories – Academic Excellence, Leadership Academy and Athletic Success. The 2015-16 academic year was another banner year for the Bees.

Academic Excellence

The overall combined GPA of all varsity student-athletes was a 3.203.

St. Ambrose University had all 19 of its eligible programs earn NAIA Scholar Team status. In fact, 21 athletic programs were recognized for achieving cumulative grade point averages above 3.0. The SAU football team at 3.22 and the SAU competitive Cheer and Dance team at 3.42 had the highest GPAs in their respective sports in the entire country.

We had 65 student-athletes earn NAIA Scholar-Athlete recognition. These individuals earned at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA or higher. Only juniors and seniors are considered for this prestigious honor.

At the conference level, 132 varsity student-athletes (sophomores, juniors or seniors with cumulative GPAs of 3.0 or higher) earned academic all-conference honors. We also had three CoSIDA Academic All-America First Team selections and two CoSIDA Academic All-America Second Team selections.

The outstanding academic success of our student-athletes is directly attributed to the priority academics is given by our coaching staff and athletic administration, close monitoring of their student-athletes' academic progress throughout the year, and their ability to successfully recruit high-quality student-athletes to our programs.

- 19 NAIA Scholar Teams
- 21 programs had minimum 3.0 cumulative team GPAs
- 65 NAIA Scholar-Athletes
- 132 academic all-conference selections
- 5 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans (3 first team, 2 second team)

Leadership Academy

The Leadership Academy again challenged our student-athletes to participate in community outreach experiences and attend/engage in four personal growth and leadership seminars. More than 800 SAU student-athletes participated during the 2015-16 year.

The Athletic Department held three key personal growth seminars throughout the year. "A Call to Mercy" presented by professor Garton, focused on the plight of refugees around the world and the magnitude of social injustice occurring world-wide. "I Am" was presented by Matt McDowell, an elder in the Progressive Baptist Church and an at-risk youth coordinator for the Quad Cities, who challenged the senior student-athletes to reach out to others with the theme "to whom much is given, much is expected." The Athletic Department and Ryan Saddler worked to bring Mendor Smith to campus for the third seminar. Smith, a former SAU student-athlete who turned to dealing drugs before turning his life around, focused his talk on making positive life choices.

Student-athletes continued to participate in community outreach programs ranging from working with area schools, St. Anthony's, Sacred Heart Cathedral and the Knights of Columbus.

Athletic Success

The Athletic Department has once again experienced many outstanding athletic successes.

  • A total of 13 programs qualified for National Championship competitions. The dance team won the NAIA National Invitational and Jenny Lopez and Anthony Peters combined for three individual national titles as part of the SAU track & field team.
  • We hosted two NAIA National Championship Tournaments - Competitive Cheer & Dance at the RiverCenter in downtown Davenport and Men's Golf at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill.
  • We won conference championships in women's soccer and men's volleyball, and finished second in the conference in women's basketball and men's golf.
  • SAU had 36 All-Americans, four conference Players of the Year, two conference Freshmen of the Year, two conference Coaches of the Year and 77 all-conference selections.
  • We had 38 conference Players of the Week and six NAIA National Players of the Week.
  • Eric Littig and Craig Crawford were named the NAIA Women's Bowling Coaches of the Year.
  • Senior Matt Cotiguala won the 2015 Fred Mitchell Outstanding Place-Kicker Award for excellence on the field and in the community.
  • Women's basketball junior Deanna Busse was named to the 2016 Allstate WBCA Good Works Team, recognizing her work on campus with the Love Your Melon organization.

Our People

Ambrose's 300-plus faculty members are among the area's movers and shakers. Passionate about education, whether their field is business, science, education or the arts, they receive numerous research grants, share their knowledge at conferences near and far, and publish papers and books every year.

We consider our students to be competent, innovative critical thinkers. They're active in the community, strong on the field, and dedicated to learning. Ambrose students win Fulbright Scholarships; compete at the state, regional, and even national level in theatre and communication; and garner recognition for projects and programs they conceive and lead—goals they achieve with sustained, individualized support.