AMHERST, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Amherst now ranks among the nation’s Top 30 public universities, moving up 10 spots during the past year in the 2015 Best Colleges guide released today by U.S. News & World Report. There are more than 600 public, four-year colleges in the country, and U.S. News ranks the best 122 National Public Universities.
The Commonwealth’s flagship campus, led by Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy, earned its highest ranking ever in the prestigious National Universities category. Since 2010, when UMass Amherst ranked No. 52 among publics, the university’s standing has steadily improved, reaching No. 40 last year before advancing to 30th for 2015, tied with four other schools. Among all National Universities, public and private, UMass Amherst moved up an impressive 15 places this year, from No. 91 to No. 76, tied with eight other schools.
A Washington Post analysis of the rankings published today cited UMass Amherst as one of only three national universities over the past five years that have risen more than 20 steps in the overall Top 100 universities, from 99th to 76th.
“UMass Amherst increasingly is a destination of choice for the best students in Massachusetts and from all corners of world,” said Subbaswamy. “These rankings reflect our commitment to excellence in undergraduate education. We greatly appreciate such national recognition, and we are grateful for the increased investment in public higher education supported by our legislators and the governor. That investment is truly yielding dividends.”
Led this year by the University of California, Berkeley, University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Virginia, National Public Universities offer a full range of undergraduate majors, plus master’s and Ph.D. programs and are committed to producing groundbreaking research.
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 and student selectivity.
This fall, UMass Amherst again welcomed its most academically accomplished entering class. More than 37,000 students applied for admission, a 4 percent increase over the prior year. Applications have more than doubled since fall 2004. 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 1218 compared to the previous year, and high school grade-point average increased from 3.73 to 3.78. On average, the high school rank improved with students ranking in the top fifth of their high school class. The entering class is 4,650 students, slightly larger than last year.
The showcase Commonwealth Honors College Residential Community opened in 2013, and this fall student interest in the Honors College surged. The size of the entering class increased from 623 in 2013 to 710 in 2014. The average SAT score rose to 1359 and high school GPA increased to 4.24.
Now in its 151st year, UMass Amherst encompasses more than 1,400 acres and 300 buildings. More than 28,000 students are enrolled, including nearly 21,000 undergraduates from 49 states and 68 countries.
Graduates of UMass Amherst are an indispensable part of the state’s knowledge economy. They study here and remain in the Commonwealth in greater numbers than any other school’s alumni. The campus has more in-state alumni than any other college in Massachusetts, private or public. The Amherst campus has more than 242,000 living alumni, with 123,000 residing in the Commonwealth.