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University receives mixed review in rankings
August 31, 1998

Efforts to enhance the academic experience at UConn are beginning to pay dividends in ratings in several recently released college guides, despite a lower overall ranking this year by U.S. News and World Report.

"At a time when private education costs are escalating, students might be well served by looking into what UConn has to offer: excellent academics, knowledgeable professors and top-notch athletics," says the Fiske Guide to Colleges for 1999, which gives UConn academics four stars. Fiske adds that "The school is undergoing a remarkable transformation, thanks to the UConn 2000 program."

Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine, in its latest edition, rates UConn 51st among the top values in all public universities.

And, in the U.S. News annual survey of leaders at hundreds of America's best universities, UConn's academic reputation received a score of 3.1 on a scale of 1 to 5, up from 2.5 last year.

In other criteria used by editors at U.S. News, UConn held steady in six categories while declining slightly in two: from 23 percent to 21 percent in the number of freshmen in the top 10 percent of their high school class, and from 67 to 70 percent in acceptance rate, a category that measures selectivity..

UConn officials, citing an incompatible data base, were unable to report class size data in the specific format required by the magazine. Unfortunately the lack of those numbers cost UConn in the overall rankings, dropping the University from the top 20 national public universities to a tie for 38th with Clemson. There are 147 national public universities.

"I'm disappointed in our ranking because it does not reflect what is happening at the University today, says Chancellor Mark A. Emmert. "I am heartened, however, by our higher rating in the category of academic reputation, for it tells us that our peers have a growing respect for the University of Connecticut."

Robert Morse, deputy director of data research for U.S. News, says UConn's slip in the rankings can be attributed entirely to the lack of class size data. Without the actual numbers, Morse says, the magazine awarded UConn a score in that category based on the nationwide average score, then tacked on a penalty.

Richard Veilleux