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U.S. News ranks Fredonia 12th among top regional public universities in the North
Monday, September 19, 2011

Fall colors on the SUNY Fredonia campus

SUNY Fredonia is ranked 12th among the top public universities in the North in the 2012 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges.” The complete and exclusive rankings will appear in the magazine’s next issue, on newsstands beginning Sept. 20, and online now.

In the larger category of both public and private institutions in the North, SUNY Fredonia tied for 52nd out of the top tier of the “Best Regional Universities,” which the magazine defines as those offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

SUNY Fredonia once again performed especially well in the category of freshmen retention rates, with an impressive 86 percent of first-year students returning for their sophomore year at SUNY Fredonia. In addition, its freshmen acceptance rate remained at a very competitive 50 percent. Items such as peer assessment, faculty and financial resources, class sizes and alumni giving are also factored into the process.

Overall, Fredonia saw a slight decrease from its 2011 rankings (10th in the North, tied for 46th overall) despite its consistent year-over-year performance across a nearly all of its metrics. This is due primarily to a significant increase in the number of schools that were classified in the Regional University pool, which are based on categories created by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. In fact, there are now 626 universities in this category nationwide, up from 572 last year, an increase of nearly 10 percent. This led to a handful of new institutions appearing above SUNY Fredonia in this year’s top-tier grouping — which also grew, from 126 to 136 universities.

“We are pleased to again be cited so highly among these annual rankings,” said SUNY Fredonia President Dennis Hefner. “To have once again performed so competitively while the category we were in grew by 54 institutions is indeed impressive. However, the hard work of SUNY Fredonia’s faculty and staff, especially while operating in such a challenging fiscal environment, has been even more impressive. I look forward to seeing how these rankings change in a few years, now that the SUNY system has a rational tuition policy in place and can better plan for long-term growth and improvement.”

The annual rankings represent a comprehensive look at how schools stack up based on a set of 12 widely accepted indicators of excellence. The study aims to help students evaluate and compare data compiled from 1,378 accredited, four-year institutions. The publication’s “North” region includes Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont. SUNY Fredonia has been ranked as a Best College every year since 1989.

The publication recognizes the study’s limitations, stating, “Certainly, the host of intangibles that make up the college experience can’t simply be measured by a series of data points.” However, the authors state, when combined with college visits, interviews, and student preferences, these rankings “can be a powerful tool in your quest for the right college.”

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