The University of Rio Grande (Ursuline- CISD) and Rio Grande Community College share the identical campuses in Rio Grande, Ohio, about a two hour drive from downtown Cleveland. The students enrolled at both schools are very different, though. The students enrolled in Ursuline- CISD are predominately middle-aged and female, while those at Rio Grande go mostly to one of two career fields: journalism or teaching. Most are also recent college graduates.
A vibrant city with a diverse population, Rio Grande, Ohio is home to over forty universities and colleges. There are four Colleges: The University of Rio Grande State Teachers College, the University of Rio Grande College of Nursing, The University of Rio Grande College of Business, and The College of Saint Rose. These colleges offer students many majors including Accounting, Arts, Business Administration, Chemistry, Criminal Justice, Engineering, English, History, Law, Marketing, Social Work, Spanish, and Education. There are also many minors available at the University of Rio Grande. All students who enroll at this university must complete their credits towards graduation from a high school diploma or its equivalent. Other requirements include completion of an approved GED program, community service, a major or minor in the college, and CPR certification.
Despite the excellent student-faculty ratio, there are still many challenges to the University of Rio Grande. In spite of its excellent acceptance rate, many students find it difficult to compete with other top colleges in Ohio’s largest city. The city’s demographics and climate often deter prospective students. In addition to tuition costs, many students from economically or otherwise disadvantaged backgrounds fail to enter the university’s programs. Though there are financial aid programs for those who qualify, the limited number of scholarships and bursaries make competition for financial aid and admissions difficult for low-income and minority students.
The University of Rio Grande’s curriculum is based on the United States Department of Education’s Academic Competitiveness Model (ACE), which measures the quality of a school’s academic program by its acceptance rate. For the fall 2010 school year, the university saw increases in both faculty diversity and student diversity. Although these changes were made to improve the school’s ranking and its acceptance rate, these improvements did not significantly improve the university’s faculty ratio. The faculty ratio for the fall 2010 school year was just under 1.1 faculty members for every ten student.
Enrollment at the University of Rio Grande also lags behind the state’s average for all four-year colleges and universities. The University of Rio Grande’s enrollment growth over the past few years has been slower than the state average. During this same time, the numbers of new four-year degree recipients for the university have been increasing, but not as dramatically as the state average. There are some reasons for the slow growth of enrollment at the University of Rio Grande compared to other colleges and universities in Texas. Some of these reasons include long waits for students who wish to enroll, a smaller percentage of four-year students who are offered admission to the University of Rio Grande compared to other four-year schools, and a lower overall number of faculty members on staff.
The University of Rio Grande also received a low ranking on the list of best public colleges and universities in the state of Texas. The reason for this was that there were a higher number of students from outside of Texas enrolling at the university. The twenty-first ranking spot on the Forbes university list of the top public colleges and universities was taken by the University of Houston. The University of Texas, another top-ranking public university, came in at twenty-second. It is not entirely clear why the University of Rio Grande placed so low on the list. It may be because of the number of students who are not enrolled in the major, the low number of students majoring in the liberal arts, or the high percentage of transfer students from other schools.
When comparing the University of Rio Grande with the other colleges and universities in Texas, one can find that the University has a slightly better graduation rate than the others. At university of Rio Grande’s end of the spectrum, approximately sixty percent of the graduates from their undergraduate programs are employed full-time within three years of graduation, compared to about forty percent at the University of Texas, fifty-four percent at Southern Methodist University, and forty-seven percent at the University of Texas at Austin. The average full-time employment for the graduates of the University of Rio Grande’s undergraduate program is just under thirty percent. The reasons for these numbers vary, but the general consensus amongst the student body is that the lack of a major in science or engineering is affecting the graduation rate. The average faculty to student ratio at the university of Rio Grande is one faculty member for every four students. This is slightly higher than the average faculty to student ratio for all colleges and universities in Texas, but it is still considerably less than the faculty to student ratio at the University of Texas at Austin, which clocks in at over six faculty members to every four students.
In order to earn a degree through the University of Rio Grande, you will need to fulfill the prerequisites for admission. Unlike many other colleges and universities, in order to be admitted into the University of Rio Grande you will not have to have an accredited college or university that holds an equivalent program for your chosen majors. For the few students who may not have an adequate major choice, the University of Rio Grande does offer a partial tuition deferment plan that allows them to earn a second Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration while they work towards their second degree, which is also a legal form of professional deferment. As you can see, the University of Rio Grande offers a higher education through a community college system that is more affordable than some of the other higher education institutions in Texas.