Utah schools score well in U.S. News' ranking
August 18, 2006
The Salt Lake Tribune
By Shinika A. Sykes
Utah's colleges and universities continue to score well in U.S. News & World Report's controversial but anticipated annual list of America's Best Colleges.
In its Aug. 28 edition - which hits the newsstand Monday - the magazine ranks the undergraduate programs of 1,400 universities in various categories, ranging from overall excellence to specialized programs and value. Graduate programs will be ranked in April.
Richard Brown, the U.'s dean of engineering, attributes his college's ranking in part to the state's engineering initiative, which has provided for a "significant investment" in new faculty members, facilities and infrastructure. "The new Warnock Engineering building, scheduled for completion this year, is an exciting new addition to the college," he said Thursday.
Another bright spot for the U. is its service learning program, administered by the Lowell Bennion Community Service Center on the U. campus. The U. was one of just 25 schools mentioned in that category.
Utah State University made the third tier overall list - schools that rank between 125 and 180 on the U.S. News' scale - ranking 7th for the least amount of debt incurred for an undergraduate degree, with an average debt of $12,440.
In the overall rankings of America's Best College for 2007, Princeton has the No. 1 spot, followed by Harvard, Yale and California Institute of Technology.
Many college administrators say they don't place much value on the rankings, which are based on evaluations of nearly 500 criteria, because it often takes years for a change to be noticed. Still, they readily include the magazine ranking of their school in marketing campaigns and on their Web sites.
How Utah colleges stack up.
Brigham Young University:
70th overall excellence
37th best business program
University of Utah:
120th overall excellence
60th best engineering program
Utah State University:
Overall excellence (third tier)
Westminster College of Salt Lake City:
14th best master's program in the West
Weber State College:
41st best master's program in the West
Utah Valley State College:
Best comprehensive college for bachelor's degree in the West