UR?s national rank slipped three spots this year to 36th in the United States according to assessment by U.S. News and World Reports.

This year, UR received an overall score of 69 out of 100, down from 72 last year. The score is based on a combination of academic reputation, retention rate, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, graduation rate performance and alumni giving.

Dean of The College William Green isn?t concerned about the drop. ?In the long run, our numbers will catch up,? he said. He said that the most important figure to him was the retention rate. The retention rate for the current rankings is up only to the class of 2000, which was the first class admitted to UR under the Renaissance Plan.

Dean for Undergraduate Enrollment, Policy and Management Neil Sanders isn?t worried about the lower ranking scaring off prospective students.

?While the rankings do have some impact, we haven?t seen it,? he said. ?We?ve had a record increase in all aspects of the university, from diversity to SAT scores.?

Sanders went on to say that there isn?t necessarily much room for UR to improve its ranking considering its position in the poll.

?There are 20 schools that are automatically in the top 20, so there isn?t much room to make a huge jump,? he said.

Assistant Dean James Henson agreed, saying ?People use it as a grouping. It?s just being among the top institutions that is important.?

The No. 1 school in the country was Princeton, followed by Harvard, Yale, the California Institute of Technology, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford, the University of Pennsylvania, Duke, Columbia, Dartmouth and the University of Chicago.

Although UR dropped overall, it is once again one of the top universities in terms of dollar value. UR is ranked sixth in the percentage of students that receive need based aid, with 60 percent of the students receiving an average of almost $17,000, up from $15,600 last year. The $17,000 average is equal to 50 percent of tuition, room and board.

The rankings are used mostly by students who intend to apply to colleges. The rankings are notorious among college admissions officers who feel it is impossible to rank colleges.

However, most students say the rankings didn?t influence them at all and if they did, it was only a little. Most students looked at other aspects of college life, such as undergraduate research oppurtunities.

?I chose UR because it?s one of the top research universities with undergraduate research opportunities, not because of its ranking,? freshman Nina Pretto said.

Some students say the college rankings had influenced them somewhat. However, it is mostly before students have come to college that they care what the rankings are.

?I looked at the rankings and if I saw a school that I knew nothing about with a high ranking, it made me want to learn more about the school,? freshman Jon Elliott said.

Brody can be reached at abrody@campustimes.org.



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