AMHERST, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Amherst continued its ascent among the nation’s best public universities, moving up to No. 29 in the 2016 Best Colleges guide released today by U.S. News & World Report.
“This year’s U.S. News ranking is a recognition of our campus’s outstanding undergraduate programs and the commitment of our students, faculty, staff and alumni to achieve excellence,” said UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy. “Our continued rise in the rankings demonstrates that investing in UMass yields impressive results, and we look forward to a continuing partnership with the governor and Legislature to create a vibrant future for our students and the Commonwealth.”
The Commonwealth’s flagship campus was ranked as a Top 30 national public university for the first time last year and moved up one spot in this year’s assessment. There are more than 600 public, four-year universities in the country.
UMass Amherst also advanced one slot to No. 75 in the Best National Universities category, which consists of 280 public, private and for-profit institutions.The rankings continue the impressive progress made by the Commonwealth’s flagship campus, which was 40th in the Public National Universities and No. 91 among National Universities just two years ago. U.S. News has UMass Amherst tied with six other schools on the Best National Universities ranking. Among publics, four schools share the No. 29 spot with UMass Amherst.
The U.S. News rankings are based on a variety of weighted factors: graduation rate performance, undergraduate academic reputation, faculty resources, graduation and retention rate, alumni giving, financial resources, student selectivity and high school counselor ratings. All of the schools in the National Universities category offer a wide range of undergraduate majors as well as master’s and doctoral degrees while emphasizing faculty research.
This fall, UMass Amherst again welcomed its most academically accomplished entering class. More than 40,000 students applied for admission, a 7.6 percent increase over the prior year. Applications have increased by nearly 80 percent in the past 10 years. The academic profile of the entering class is at another historic high, continuing a record-setting trend. SAT scores increased by about 10 points to 1226/1600 compared to the previous year, and high school grade-point average increased from 3.78 to 3.83. On average, first-year students ranked in the top fifth of their high school class. The entering class is 4,685 students, slightly larger than last year.
Overall undergraduate enrollment this fall is estimated at 21,100, up from last year’s 20,712. In-state enrollment is about 16,100 or 76 percent of the student body.