NEWS

UA falls in national rankings

U.S. News and World Report released its annual college rankings Thursday, with the UA getting knocked down a few rungs from last year.


The university's 2010 overall ranking was 102, down from 96 in 2009.


The university was at a four-way tie with the University of Missouri, University of Oklahoma and Florida State University.


President Robert Shelton said he was unconcerned by the numbers, as the ranking method employed by U.S. News and World Report does not accurately reflect the mission of the UA.


""Our mission is to go fairly deep into the applicant pool, and ensure that those students who are hard-working and of good quality, can still get a quality education,"" he said.


In 2008 U.S. News & World Report listed UA in the top tier of its ""Best National Universities"" and 45 among public universities according to admissions.


Charlie Silverman, a pre-business freshman, said he came to the UA for the reputable Eller College of Management. He also said that college rankings affects students' futures ""100 percent.""


He said that he knows a lot of incoming freshman who look at college rankings, however that was not a deciding factor in his descion to come to the UA.


""In the L.A. Times they have statistics of starting business salaries, which are a lot higher at the University of Southern California and Ivy Leagues,"" Silverman said.


The methodology behind the school rankings breaks down into three steps. First schools are categorized based on their ""mission."" Each school has a different focus, with liberal arts colleges tending to focus on undergraduate education, and larger universities tending to focus on masters and doctoral programs.


Next, U.S. News and World Report collects information from the colleges for up to 15 indicators reflecting academic achievements. Each factor is then weighed based on importance.


Schools are then ranked in each category against their peers based on the scores that are formed.


Not all schools are ranked­ — Some of the unranked schools are listed separately, if they do not use SAT or ACT test scores in the admissions process or if there was a lack of responses on the peer assessment surveys for academics.


This year, 91.2 percent of the 1,477 colleges and universities that were surveyed, returned their statistical information, according to the U.S. News and World Report


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