University of Miami in the Top Tier

At the Summer Sendoff for Austin area students who will be attending the University of Miami this fall, they gave the current enrollment numbers: applications received, students accepted, students in attendance, average GPA/SAT/ACT scores. I just laughed and said, “none of us could get in, now, huh?” While some of the numbers of today are inflated [1], it’s also clear that Miami is attracting more and more academically minded students with each year. This is really no surprise. These colleges/programs are all quite recognized: pre-med & medicine, architecture, law, engineering, psychology, music, & communications. Business and education (my degrees) have both grown tremendously in the last few years, too.

So, it’s fun to see Miami in the Top Tier list that everyone uses as a measure. While I’m glad The U made the list, I certainly don’t think it’s the be-all-and-end-all list of good universities. Still, I’m glad Miami can get good press from this.

UM Cracks Top Tier of U.S. News & World Report’s Best College Rankings

The University of Miami Alumni Association would like to thank you, our alumni, for your ongoing commitment to your alma mater. It is only with your support that we are able to be included among the top 50 of the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankings. We could not have reached this level of greatness without you, and we anticipate continued progress in the years ahead.

Us News and World ReportUniversity of Miami students returning to campus for the new academic year will have another source of pride as ’Canes—their university has cracked the top tier of what is annually one of the most anticipated college ranking lists in the nation.

UM has been ranked No. 50 in U.S. News & World Report’s 2010 edition of “America’s Best Colleges,” which hits newsstands on Monday. It rose from No. 51 last year and has moved up 17 slots in the past eight years, making it one of the fastest-rising institutions in the ranking of national universities.

The editors of U.S. News & World Report have ranked the nation’s top universities and colleges for the past 26 years.

“I am delighted with this recognition,” said UM President Donna E. Shalala, who added that she is proud of the University’s significant accomplishments as measured in student achievement, retention, and graduation rates as well as the caliber of faculty and facilities and the living and learning environment the institution provides.

UM continued to improve in four key variables, showing marked increases in the average SAT score of its incoming freshmen (this year’s average score of 1285 is a 10 point increase from last year and a 110 point rise since 2001), the percentage of freshmen who were in the top 10 percent of their high school graduation class, six-year graduation rate, and freshman retention rate, which now stands at 90 percent.

Since 2001, when Shalala became president, UM has steadily improved in those four areas, which make up more than 33 percent of the formula used by the magazine to rank universities.

In addition, the rankings also revealed that the percentage of classes at UM with fewer than 20 students rose to 52 percent, a 5 percent increase over last year, while the University’s student/faculty ratio also improved. The alumni giving rate is 19 percent, up from 12 percent in 2001.

“While the changes from one year to the next in the U.S. News ranking tend to be relatively minor, the improvement in ranking for the University of Miami over the past eight years has been truly remarkable,” said Executive Vice President and Provost Thomas J. LeBlanc. “More than anything else, the ranking reflects UM’s continuous improvement in admissions, retention, and graduation rates.”

UM’s top-tier ranking comes on the heels of the institution’s record-breaking Momentum campaign, which concluded at the end of 2007 and raised more than $1.4 billion for endowed chairs and professorships, scholarships, facilities, academic and medical programs, and other initiatives.

Click here to view UM President Donna E. Shalala’s comments on the top-tier ranking in U.S. News and World Report

Go ‘Canes!!!

[1] Tests have changed. Prep for tests is better. Helicopter parents who make sure that their “little darling” gets every point due to him for every little assignment in high school are partly responsible for inflated GPAs among a lot of the applicants. I saw this when I volunteered for sorority recruitment at Texas A&M. 900+ women were rushing 12 sororities. Virtually all of them had impeccable grades, activities, leadership, service, etc. It’s hard to narrow down to a good fit/match when they ~all, on paper at least, seem perfect. It really sucked to have to release any of those girls from the invite list.

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