August 17, 2010 – The latest issue of U.S. News & World Report/America’s Best Colleges ranks the University of Utah among the best national universities. The U came in 129th, tying with two other schools.
The ranking of undergraduate programs also showcases some of the university’s most popular colleges. The magazine ranked the U’s College of Engineering at number 65 nationally for its strong academic programs. The David Eccles School of Business came in at 67, tying with 21 other schools.
U.S. News frequently is criticized for the way it compiles its lists of top schools and programs. Namely, many take issue with the magazine for placing a ranking number on programs often separated by a tenth of a point and because a good portion of the ranking is based on the opinions of presidents, provosts and admissions deans. This year, for the first time, the publication included the views of high school counselors in its measure of “academic reputation,” perhaps the most controversial aspect of the rankings.
2011 America’s Best Colleges guidebook will be available on newsstands August 24 and the highlights of the rankings will be available in the weekly issue on August 31.
U.S. News lists the U as having some very favorable statistics for students attending classes this fall. The magazine lists the university as having a student/faculty ratio of 15 to 1–the best in the state–as well as a very high freshman retention rate of 81.2 percent.
The University of Utah is also being recognized by U.S. News for having an undergraduate student population with one of the least amounts of debt. Only 40 percent of students graduating from the U have some college debt, averaging $15,201. The list represents schools whose class of 2009 graduated with the lightest debt loads. The data include loans taken out by students from their colleges, from private financial institutions, and from federal, state and local governments. Parents’ loans are not included.
For a complete listing of the U.S. News & World Report rankings of America’s Best Colleges, visit http://www.usnews.com.