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  September 10, 2001

UConn Jumps 10 Places in Latest College Rankings

The University of Connecticut has jumped 10 places to number 28 in the U.S. News & World Report rankings of the best public universities in the nation and is again the top-ranked New England public university, according to the latest listings of the nation's best colleges released Sept. 6 by the magazine.

"We are pleased with the increase in our ranking and to be listed among the top 30 public universities nationally," says Chancellor John D. Petersen. " But as pleased as we are with our U.S. News ranking, the real measure of our success is the fact that so many outstanding students are now making UConn their top choice. UConn is in the midst of a remarkable transformation that is making us an extremely attractive educational option for high-achieving students."

Since 1997, freshman enrollment has grown nearly 50 percent; minority freshmen enrollment has grown 58 percent; and average SAT scores are up 28 points.

UConn climbed more places in this year's U.S. News ranking than any other institution included among the top 50 public universities nationally. The University is one of only a handful of institutions in the Northeast to make the ranking of the top national public universities. The National Science Foundation estimates that there are 292 public universities in the nation.

Each year, U.S. News rates about 1,400 accredited four-year colleges, based on a survey of the school's academic reputation among high-ranking officials of other colleges and on data including retention and graduation rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, and alumni giving.

UConn remains the top-rated public university in New England, ahead of the Universities of Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, which are in the top 50, and Rhode Island and Maine, which are not. The University is ranked just behind the Universities of Delaware, Iowa and Maryland, and Rutgers and Purdue Universities. It is ranked ahead of the University of Missouri, Iowa State, North Caroline State and Clemson.

Although there is recognition of the subjectivity of college rankings, Dolan Evanovich, associate provost for enrollment management, says the rankings do influence students and their families in choosing a college. "Sales of the annual rankings issue of U.S. News dwarf those of any other issue of the magazine," he says. "Because we know students and parents do consider the rankings, we are pleased to be ranked among the top 30 and first among New England public universities."

U.S. News also cited the Health Center in its July 23 issue looking at America's Best Hospitals. The Health Center was rated no. 36 just below Cook County Hospital in Chicago and above institutions such as the University Medical Center in Tucson, Ariz., and the University of North Carolina Hospitals in Chapel Hill.

In addition, the geriatrics program was named one of the country's Top 50 programs. The rankings looked at 17 medical specialties and rated a number of factors in each specialty, such as the hospital-wide mortality ratio; discharge planning; technology services available for that specialty; and the ratio of nurses to beds, for example.

George Kuchel, director of the UConn Center on Aging, said the U.S. News ranking of the geriatrics program reflects the quality of the faculty in clinical practice and research activity in aging and geriatric medicine, and the program's well coordinated, multi-disciplinary approach to care of the elderly.

Karen A. Grava

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