Buffalo Business First on Tuesday ranked the University of Connecticut as the seventeenth-best public university in the United States.
The 2016 ranking is two spots higher than UConn’s No. 19 ranking in 2015.
“Our students keep getting better and we continue to make great progress as an institution,” Stephanie Reitz, a spokeswoman for the University said. “We’re pleased but not surprised that others are taking note of this.”
Business First reviewed 477 public universities across the United States. Each school was ranked based on 20 factors including selectivity, diversity, costs and prestige.
The 20-part formula was created to identify the public universities and colleges that offer the best educational experiences to their students, according Business First’s website.
G. Scott Thomas, a projects editor at Buffalo Business First, said the publication focused on public institutions because the cost of education is a more prominent issue than ever before and costs are highest at private schools.
Sixty-nine percent of students who graduated from public and non-profit universities in 2014 had student loan debt, according to a report for the Institute of College Learning and Success. The average student owed $28,950 upon leaving their school.
UConn’s No. 17 ranking comes amid rising concern among current and future students over a plan to increase tuition by 31 percent over the next four years.
The tuition increase would make UConn’s $47,082 out-of-state tuition the second highest in New England. Only the University of Vermont would be more expensive.
“This conversation is happening at every public university nationwide,” UConn’s chief financial officer Scott Jordan said at a Board of Trustees Financial Affairs Committee meeting in October. “We need to be careful about how we price ourselves and the level and the types of financial aid we provide.”
The Business First rankings estimate the average net price for UConn undergraduates at $19,049.
The University of North Carolina ranked No. 1 followed by the University of Michigan and University of Virginia.
Last year’s rankings were published by the same publication under a different name: The Business Journals.
Jon Hull is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.