UConn named to Business First’s list of nation’s top public colleges


Bird's eye view of UConn's Horsebarn Hill. (Tyler Benton/The Daily Campus)

Bird’s eye view of UConn’s Horsebarn Hill. (Tyler Benton/The Daily Campus)

The University of Connecticut recently earned a spot on a ranking of America’s top 20 public colleges.

UConn was chosen as part of a study conducted by Business First, which ranked the school number 16 out of 499 four-year public institutions across the country. The school moved up one spot from last year’s ranking, where it was ranked 17th on the list.

Business First’s study used a wide array of the latest data from the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, and it was based on 22 indicators of academic excellence, affordability, diversity and economic strength, according to a press release.

The highest scores went to schools with highly selective admissions processes, strong retention and graduation rates, impressive earnings by alumni, generous resources, affordable tuitions and housing costs, diverse faculties and student bodies and economically robust communities, the press release said.

“Business First’s formula was designed to identify the public universities and colleges that offer the best educational experiences to their students. The rankings were limited to public schools because those institutions generally offer the least expensive path toward a college degree,” an article on Business First’s website said.

University of Connecticut spokesperson Stephanie Reitz said it is gratifying to see UConn being recognized by others.

“We’re always proud to spread the word about UConn’s high quality and affordability,” Reitz said. “While rankings aren’t the only factor in determining a university’s value, we’re always glad that prospective students may become interested in UConn after seeing the rankings, and perhaps eventually come here to become a Husky.”

Additional criteria includes that more than half the degrees that a school granted during the most recent academic year were at the bachelor’s degree level or higher, that they have been classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as baccalaureate, master’s or research institution and that they submitted the full range of 2015 data to the National Center for Education Statistics’ Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.

The overall formula was broken down into 15 percent selectivity, 25 percent advancement (retention rate and four and six year graduation rates), 10 percent prospects (earnings after six and ten years), 10 percent resources, 10 percent costs, 10 percent diversity (including geographical, racial and gender-based diversity), 10 percent the surrounding community and 10 percent the school’s past performance in Business First’s previous two rankings.

The University of Michigan took first place in the rankings, with the University of North Carolina in second place and University of California-Berkeley in third.

The report also provided a separate breakdown for Connecticut’s public colleges, where it ranked UConn first out of five schools.

Gabriella Debenedictis is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at gabriella.debenedictis@uconn.edu.

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