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UConn falls three places in U.S. News rankings

By Victoria Smey
On August 27, 2010

UConn fell again this year – but not to an NCAA sports team. This time, UConn fell in the 2011 U.S. News and World Report college rankings. Before the 2010 school year, UConn was rated the 66th university in the nation along with Rutgers. This year, the UConn was beat out by Rutgers and was bumped down to 69th place, tied with Northeastern University and Virginia Tech.

U.S. News is famous for producing their annual college rankings, and publishes a few lists in addition to their national universities list - national liberal arts colleges, graduate schools, regional colleges and universities, historically black colleges, and best business and engineering programs, among others.

The annual ratings are based on very specific criteria including academic reputation, faculty availability, graduation rates and freshman retention, student selectivity in the application process, financial resources, and alumni donation rates. This year, U.S. News even surveyed close to 2,000 public high school guidance counselors to get their input for the ratings.

So just how much do the ratings impact students' decision to come to UConn, which accepts about half of its applicants and was also rated the No. 1 public university in New England?

"The ranking actually didn't influence my decision but it did help me convince my parents that UConn was a good choice for me," said Tatiana Mercado, a 3rd-semester communications major. "Since I live in Massachusetts, my parents wanted me to go to UMass because they were convinced that it was basically the same as UConn but with a cheaper price. By telling them about UConn's ranking as the No. 1 public school in New England, they were convinced that it would be a good investment to spend more money for out-of-state tuition to get a UConn education," said Mercado. However, Jay Ghassem-Zadeh said his decision was unaffected by the ratings.

"When I was picking schools, I paid no attention to ratings from any magazines or news papers - I only applied to one school, because UConn just felt right for me."

The Princeton Review also publishes highly acclaimed lists of college ratings, including top 20 party schools, which they surveyed 100,000 college students to determine. UConn was not on that list for the 2010-2011 school year.

"We're not a big party school anymore. There's even been a noticeable change from my freshman year," said Ryan O'Connell, a 7th-semester accounting major. Despite UConn's fall to the 69th spot this year, it seems safe to say that most UConn students still think highly of their UConn education, despite the ranking. 

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