UConn has been named No. 19 among public universities in the newest U.S. News & World Report ranking, the fifth consecutive year in which the University has been recognized among the Top 25 nationwide.
The No. 19 ranking, released Wednesday, further confirms UConn’s place among the nation’s top public universities, with its commitment to excellence in academics, teaching, research, and service.
UConn’s ascent also has been noticed by prospective students and their families. This year’s incoming freshmen were top performers in a record-setting applicant pool of more than 35,000 – resulting in one of the University’s most talented and diverse classes in history.
The academic strength of UConn’s freshman classes has been one of several factors in the University’s rise in the U.S. News standings in recent years. The reduction in class sizes, retention and graduation rates of undergraduates, reputation among peer institutions, and other factors also play a role.
“We’re delighted to be where we are, which is among the best public universities in the nation,” says UConn President Susan Herbst. “Schools can rise or fall a few spots in rankings for any number of reasons, but U.S. News is one measure that confirms what students and families already know: that UConn is a great university committed to academic quality, excellent faculty, and student success. And that’s where our focus will stay.”
Several major initiatives under way also are expected to help UConn remain firmly among the nation’s elite public research universities. They include Bioscience Connecticut, Next Generation Connecticut, and the development of the UConn Tech Park at the Storrs campus.
The University is also on track to open a new 727-bed STEM Residence Hall in fall 2016 and a new Engineering and Science academic complex in summer 2017, along with several other noteworthy building renovations to enhance UConn’s academic offerings and student experience.
While UConn officials say they are very happy with the U.S. News ranking, they emphasize the importance of other factors that help define a high-quality institution.
These include ensuring affordability and career-relevant educational offerings for students; prioritizing research and innovation; fostering statewide economic development; promoting environmentally conscious academics and practices; and many other factors.
UConn’s efforts in many of those areas are reflected in other national polls: It consistently ranks in the Top 10 among “Cool Schools” in the annual Sierra Club ranking of “green” colleges and universities, and is consistently cited in Kiplinger’s Personal Finance’s list of 100 best values in public colleges.
UConn’s momentum in the U.S. News ranking is evident when comparing its showing over time since 2000, when it was No. 38 on the list of top public universities. It moved into the mid-20s over the following years, and eventually matched and outpaced some of the nation’s most noted public universities.
UConn was one of 173 national public universities ranked as part of this year’s U.S. News survey, which can be found at www.usnews.com/colleges.