UMass Amherst Moves Up in Rankings of Top Public Universities by <i>U.S. News & World Report</i>

AMHERST, Mass. - The University of Massachusetts Amherst ranks among the best public universities in the country, achieving its highest standing since 2004, according to the 2012 edition of Best Colleges, released by U.S. News & World Report. The state’s flagship university ranks No. 42 among all public national universities and is the only Massachusetts school among the top 50 publics.

UMass Amherst moved up three spots this year in the rating of public universities. Among all national universities, private and public, UMass Amherst improved five positions to No. 94.

"We are a university on the rise, and the U.S. News ranking is yet another indicator that our campus delivers excellence," said Robert C. Holub, UMass Amherst chancellor. "Outstanding students from across the state and nation are increasingly choosing UMass Amherst and for good reason."

Among the measures used by U.S. News for its rankings, the university demonstrated improved marks in retention and graduation rates, graduation rate performance, and the percentage of classes with less than 20 students.

Earlier this month, UMass Amherst welcomed its largest-ever and most academically accomplished first-year class. The entering class of about 4,700 students is at an historic high and represents an increase of more than 200 students compared to last year. The academic profile is the best ever. SAT scores increased by 20 points to 1187 compared to last year, high school grade point average increased from 3.61 to 3.62, and on average students rank in the top 20 percent of their high school class. More than 32,500 students, a record, applied for admission. Applications to the campus have doubled since fall 2003.