The colleges with the best alumni networks often benefit from many strengths, but let’s look closer at what the best U.S. colleges offer. America’s college culture is unique among higher education institutions across the globe.
Some of the top colleges in the U.S. have names that are practically synonymous with quality of education and the opportunities they afford their students, but how do you accurately gauge their strengths versus their reputations?
The answer is by looking to their alumni—the people who have gone through the educational journey with them.
Which college has the best alumni network?
This can be hard to define despite being such an essential question. When looking at a college’s alumni network, you need to establish some key questions, including:
- How present and active is the alumni network?
- What opportunities does the network unlock for alumni?
- How supportive is the network and do alumni get to be involved with the college past graduation?
By looking at the ‘best’ alumni networks in this way—as sources of opportunity and support—then some colleges immediately stand out.
Princeton University, situated in Princeton, New Jersey, is famous for the huge amount of support it continually provides to its alumni.
Founded in 1746 as the College of New Jersey, and one of nine colonial colleges founded in America before the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Princeton currently boasts over 97,000 living alumni.
Of that number, more than 26,000 attend reunions annually. These numbers are the result of Princeton’s administration understanding how to run an alumni association and the importance of doing so.
The Ivy League college aims to keep an alumni association that maintains lifelong relationships with graduates and allows them to keep up-to-date contact details registered for alumni networking.
Another college that commits heavy resources to holding one of the best alumni networks is Penn State University, located in Pennsylvania. Penn State holds regular events for alumni that are pitched exactly to answer alumni needs, like writing resumes and using career services to find (or change) jobs.
Their events calendar is constantly full and the association also offers volunteering opportunities, job search tools, travel services, and more.
When looking for colleges with the best alumni networks, it’s hard to overlook standouts like Penn State and Princeton.
Which college has the most loyal alumni?
Alumni loyalty is encouraged by colleges show that they care about their alumni and want to keep helping them through their lives and careers.
As a result, the colleges with the most loyal alumni will be those who offer the most through their alumni networks, as demonstrated by institutions like Penn State.
However, for one particularly strong example of alumni loyalty, it’s hard to find a better example than Indiana University.
In 1854, a fire of unknown source tore through the university’s New College Building, destroying an estimated $15,000 worth of property including society halls, the chapel, and a 1,200-volume library.
It was this very event that spurred the creation of Indiana University’s Alumni Association, which supported and helped the college as it was rebuilt. IUAA continues to play a central role in the college to this day, having accrued over 650,000 members.
Though many alumni across all 50 states will be loyal to their respective colleges, it’s difficult to argue with an association that roots its identity and ethos in such a dedicated and passionate history.
Which colleges have the best alumni networks in terms of size?
Among the biggest alumni networks for U.S. colleges are the previously mentioned Penn State and Indiana University, as well as the University of California and both the University of Michigan and Michigan State University.
Penn State boasts the largest alumni numbers of them all, with almost 760,000 living alumni. Indiana University has a still-impressive number of alumni exceeding 650,000, and both of the University of Michigan and Michigan State have over 550,000 alumni each.
Not all of a college’s alumni will be members of alumni associations, but a college’s number of living alumni can be considered its network, untapped or otherwise.
Which college has the strongest alumni association?
Penn State could be seen as having a strong alumni association, given its extensive size and the influence it affords through that size.
Harvard alone is one of the most famed U.S. colleges in the world, counting eight presidents among its alumni and countless successful business leaders.
Some colleges enjoy a strong alumni association through any combination of the factors above: size, loyalty, prestige, and dedication to enriching the lives of their alumni.
How to keep alumni engaged?
Aluminati is a UK-based company providing unique software solutions such as its Alumni management platform.
Aluminate offers a customisable, fully manageable alumni engagement software platform, making the management of alumni networks easier and more convenient than ever.
Our products are used by universities and further education colleges across the UK and beyond. To arrange a demo or find out more about our products, contact us today.