August 17, 2010
The University of Maine at Fort Kent has been listed in the top tier of "Best Regional Colleges" for 2011 by the prestigious U.S. News and World Report, in rankings released today by the publisher.
The 2011 U.S. News and World Report ranking marks UMFK's rise to the top tier from third-tier status just two years ago. UMFK is ranked among the top 50 of all colleges in the North region. It also is ranked among the 15th best regional public colleges in the listings.
"I am excited that our campus has earned this distinctive recognition by U.S. News and World Report," said University President, Wilson G. Hess. "Our focus on access to an affordable, quality college experience is one of the great value-added opportunities in Maine higher education. For some time folks have known that our small campus, excellent faculty, and committed staff provide a wonderful educational opportunity for the people of the St. John Valley. UMFK now is being justly recognized as a university of regional excellence."
Earlier this month, UMFK was cited for the sixth successive year as a "Best Northeastern College" by The Princeton Review. That accolade is derived primarily from student input.
The U.S. News rankings are based on key measures of quality that education experts have proposed as reliable indicators of academic quality. The indices used for ranking "Best Regional Colleges" include: peer assessment (25%); graduation and retention rates (25%); faculty resources (20%); student selectivity (15%); financial resources (10%); and, alumni giving (5%). Scores for each measure are then weighted as a percentage, as shown, to arrive at a final overall score.
"For too long at UMFK we have hidden our light under bushel basket," President Hess said. "The recognition today by U.S. News and World Report shines a bright light on our accomplishments," he added.
The U.S. News rankings system rests on two pillars: the formula relies on quantitative measures that education experts have proposed as reliable indicators of academic quality, and, are based on U.S. News' researched view of what matters in education.
Two Maine public colleges - the University of Maine at Farmington and the University of Maine at Fort Kent are recognized.
For prospective students and their families, the 2011 U.S. News rankings provide an excellent starting point to help identify colleges and universities that are right for them, because they offer the opportunity to judge the relative quality of institutions based on widely-accepted indicators of excellence.