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  September 4, 2000

UConn Ranked Again as Top Public
University in New England

UConn is again the top public university in New England, according to the latest rankings of the nation's best colleges released Friday by U.S. News &World Report.

"We are pleased to again be the best public university in New England. The ranking is one indication of how well the University is doing. However, we continue to recognize that the more accurate measures of success are the marketplace - demand for UConn has grown tremendously in the last five years - and a host of other indicators, only some of which are considered by U.S. News &World Report," says Dolan Evanovich, associate provost for enrollment management.

"We rank among the best universities in the country. Yet these rankings are only a surrogate of the real indicators of success.

"UConn has undergone a tremendous transformation in the last five years and those changes have made us extremely attractive to undergraduates," he adds.

Since 1997, freshman enrollment has grown 34.5 percent; minority freshman enrollment has grown 58 percent; and freshman SAT scores are up 28 points. In addition, the number of valedictorians jumped from 13 four years ago to 34 valedictorians this fall.

U.S. News &World Report rated UConn in a four-way tie at 38th nationally this year, a change of one position from last year's six-way tie at number 31. The University is one of only a handful of institutions in the northeast to make the U.S. News ranking of the top national public universities.

The ranking makes UConn the top-rated public university in New England, ahead of the Universities of Vermont, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, all ranked 47th. Two universities are tied in first place, the University of California-Berkeley, and the University of Virginia.

Each year, U.S. News rates about 1,400 accredited four-year colleges, based on data including retention and graduation rates, quality of students and alumni giving, and on a survey of the school's reputation among high-ranking officials of other colleges. The National Science Foundation estimates there are 292 public universities in the nation.

Although there is skepticism about the value of college rankings, Evanovich says the rankings do influence students and their families in choosing a college. And for that reason, he says, "we are pleased to be ranked first in New England."

Karen Grava