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UConn Climbs in U.S. News Rankings
(Released: 09/06/01)

By Karen Grava, Office of University Communications

Best Colleges 2002 STORRS, Conn. -- 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 Thursday, September 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 first 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 few 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 data including retention and graduation rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, and alumni giving.

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 universities and first among New England public universities."

Petersen cited other indicators of UConn's success including:

  • Renewed emphasis on undergraduate education with a new high-technology School of Business building and a new Marine Sciences Building in Avery Point, both opening this fall; new programs including first year experience courses, a special program for students with undecided majors, and a new mentor program for students.

  • New residence halls, including the new Hilltop dormitory which has suites for students, and the Hilltop Apartments for juniors and seniors, both of which opened this fall and are part of a program to invigorate campus life.

  • A new approach to student services that includes renovation of the Wilbur Cross Building into a "one-stop-shopping" center for student business needs.

  • Growth of overall enrollment of 14 percent over the last five years. The University's goal of having 25,000 students by 2005 will be met by 2002.

  • Recruitment of an impressive class of new faculty. In addition, 20 percent of the hires in the last five years have been minorities.

  • Tremendous growth in private annual gifts to the University from $8 million to $50 million annually in just six years. In addition, total assets of the UConn Foundation have grown from $65 million to more than $251 million during the last six years.

  • A 62 percent increase in research funding in the last five years.

  • Completion of more than five years of the $1 billion, 10-year UConn 2000 program to renew, enhance, and rebuild the campuses. To date, the program is responsible for completion of 40 new buildings, 18 renovated buildings, and refurbishment of more than 80 classrooms. This fall alone, $170 million in projects were completed. In addition, a hotel conference center, The Nathan Hale Inn and Conference Center, will open in Storrs in October. The Waterbury campus will be completed in a new downtown location by 2003. The new football stadium, under construction in East Hartford, will be completed in time for UConn's 2003 schedule.

  • Athletic success includes a national championship men's soccer team last fall, and outstanding teams in men's and women's basketball, women's soccer, field hockey, and track, among others. In a study reported in the Chronicle of Higher Education, UConn was one of only 36 universities in the United States considered to be in compliance with the requirements of Title IX.

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