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UC Rises Rapidly In U.S. News Scores

The University of Cincinnati jumped 15 places since last year in comparative rankings by U.S. News & World Report. Over the past five years, UC has climbed 27 places in the national quality survey of colleges and universities.

Date: 8/19/2005 12:00:00 AM
By: Greg Hand
Phone: (513) 556-1822

UC ingot  

The University of Cincinnati took a giant step upward in U.S. News & World Report’s annual ranking of colleges and universities, jumping 15 places to 145 among national universities from 160 last year. This one-year leap builds on gradual improvement over the previous five years during which UC moved up 27 places, from 172 to 145.

“We can attribute most of the improvement this year to the Collegiate Structures Initiative,” said Lee Mortimer, UC’s director of institutional research, who provides the data used by U.S. News in compiling the annual list. “By restructuring our academic programs to focus on student preparation and success, we saw immediate improvement in retention, standardized test scores, students with high standing among their high school classes, and selectivity. All of that affects the U.S. News ranking.”

Other factors that played a role in UC’s evolving profile, Mortimer said, are targeted recruiting efforts, investments in the first-year experience, the success of scholarship programs such as Cincinnatus, and the allocation of financial resources to academic programs.

If the trend continues, Mortimer said, UC is positioned to move out of the unranked tier in which it has been represented for the past decade. Even though that tier is unranked, Mortimer has requested additional, unpublished data from U.S. News each year to assist university planning and to track progress.

“In the published edition, we may appear lumped in an unranked group,” Mortimer said, “but U.S. News is very cooperative about sharing additional data about our comparative ranking with us. It helps to know that we are moving the needle in the right direction.”