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UConn ranked top public university in New England by U.S. News (Released: 8/25/97)

by Elizabeth Omara-Otunnu, Office of University Communications.

STORRS, Conn. — The University of Connecticut is the top public institution in New England, according to the latest rankings of the nation's best colleges published by U.S. News & World Report.

The University is one of a handful of institutions in the northeast to make the U.S. News ranking of the top 25 national public universities. This is the first time public universities have been rated as a separate category in the news magazine's rankings, available at newsstands today.

UConn is rated 20th nationally among public universities, ahead of the University of Vermont — the only other New England institution in the top 25 — in the number 22 spot. Other high-ranked institutions in the northeast were: Penn State (in 12th place), Rutgers (16th), SUNY-Binghamton (tied in 20th place with UConn), and the University of Delaware (25th). The University of Virginia heads the list.

"We are seen as a place that's a solid academic institution, ranked among the best universities in the country," says Chancellor and Provost for University Affairs Mark A. Emmert. "We are competing head-to-head with the best institutions out there."

Each year U.S. News rates 1,400 accredited four-year colleges, based on data including retention and graduation rates, quality of students, and alumni giving. Twenty-five percent of the ranking is based on a survey of the school's reputation among high-ranking officials of other colleges.

"The rankings are a function of a variety of different measures," says Emmert. "Many of those variables rose in the last couple of years. The rankings lag behind by a year or two at least what's happening on the ground at the University and are just now reflecting the changes."

Emmert says although there is skepticism about the value of college rankings, they do influence students and their families choosing a college. He anticipates the U.S. News ranking will have a positive effect on enrollment at the University. "This will certainly impress students who are looking at institutions nationally and trying to find out what institutions are high quality and most competitive, and therefore most desirable."