UConn should aim to raise stagnant U.S. News and World Report ranking

The University of Connecticut remained ranked at No. 19 in the 2015 edition of the U.S. News and World Report’s annual ranking of public universities and colleges. UConn should take pride in holding its position in the prestigious ranking. Given the publicity generated by the university regarding these rankings, there is a clear sense of investment in this ranking. Thus, the university should actively consider strategies aimed at raising UConn rankings in subsequent years.

As the university continues to grow, the administration should consider lowering the admission percentage. This will not only limit the need for facility and dormitory expansion, but also have the added benefit of increasing competitiveness, thus aiding national reputation and ranking.

UConn has pushed to build new educational and research-oriented infrastructure at the main Storrs campus, as well as the regional campuses throughout Connecticut. In an effort to continue improving Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or STEM, growth, UConn has shifted the majority of focus towards this area.

While the STEM push has added to the university’s prestige and national reputation, campus and research infrastructure are not all that composes a national ranking. In order to reach the upper-echelon of public research universities, the UConn administration needs to begin to consider increasing the competiveness of the application process.

While the university has a duty to provide affordable, public education to the people of Connecticut, the Storrs campus needs to build its reputation as a prestigious, flagship institution in order to bolster its national ranking.

This semester, UConn welcomed the largest incoming class of freshman in its history. While the quality of students has remained high, with tremendous growth in academic acumen over the past decade, more can be done to create the highest quality academic environment possible. With increasing student populations, the university is being forced to focus resources on future residential expansion and student life infrastructure. While the overall acceptance rate will have to drop if applications continue to increase, a strategic lowering of the acceptance rate will serve a dual purpose. 

Limiting class size and reducing the admissions rate to the Storrs campus will not only help to handle the infrastructure problems UConn has in a cost-effective way, but will also serve the purpose of increasing competitiveness. Limiting class size may leave some prospective students with fewer choices of university. But it will serve to increase the value of current and former UConn alumni diplomas.

The higher the university rises in rankings, the more prestige the UConn name will hold. This will transfer towards increase value in the education provided and further entice the highest tier of potential students – including out of state applicants – to consider UConn as an attractive choice for a post-secondary education.