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U moves up among America’s Best Colleges

August 18, 2004 — The University of Utah ranks 111th out the more than 1,400 colleges and universities surveyed for the 2005 edition of the “America’s Best Colleges” guidebook from U.S. News & World Report. The magazine ranks schools annually based on a complicated system of peer assessments and statistical data. The U moved up seven spots, maintaining its status as a top tier institution.

The U’s ranking is even better when factoring out private universities. It placed 54th among top public national universities, tying with Florida State.

Utah’s David Eccles School of Business undergraduate program reclaimed its top 50 ranking after having fallen from that lofty post the last time the category was included in the rankings in 2002. The U’s undergraduate business program placed 48th in the nation this year, tying with such prestigious schools as Boston University, University of Missouri, and George Washington University. Business School Dean Jack Brittain says he’s pleased the hard work being done by the school’s faculty and staff is paying off. “It’s good to know that the quality of education students receive at the David Eccles School is being recognized nationally. We have improved many of our programs over the past couple of years and I believe the movement up the rankings is well deserved”, said Brittain.

Also making a jump in the rankings this year is the U’s undergraduate engineering program, which ranked 60th best in the country for schools whose highest degree is a doctorate. That’s an increase of seven spots over last year. Utah’s College of Engineering was among the first ever established west of the Mississippi and is nationally know for its excellence in computer science and bioengineering, among other programs. Some of the companies founded by graduates and faculty of the College of Engineering include: TRW, Evans and Sutherland, Silicon Graphics, Netscape, WordPerfect, Sarcos, Opto 22, Novell, Atari, Adobe Systems, Little America, and Pixar, to name only a few.

The U is also ranked among the nation’s best for Service Learning. U.S. News & World Report describes this as programs placing emphasis on volunteering in the community as an instructional strategy-and a requirement of a student’s coursework. The service relates to what happens in class and vice versa.

This year’s rankings also point out that students attending the U will leave in a better financial situation than many of their peers. The U was recognized among national universities with students accumulating the least amount of debt before graduation. Less than half, just 42% of Utah students will acquire some amount of debt, with the average student amassing $12,400 in loans.