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June 12, 2009


The University of Maine at Fort Kent has been listed as one of America’s Best Colleges by the prestigious U.S. News & World Report in its recently-released 2009 rankings. UMFK is listed among the “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” in the north in U.S. News’ 2009 print and on-line listings. 

UMFK is listed among the third-tier baccalaureate colleges; those ranked 33 through 48, and listed alphabetically.

The U.S. News rankings system rests on quantitative measures that education experts have proposed as reliable indicators of academic quality.  UMFK’s rank in the third tier of baccalaureate schools is on par with third tier listings attained by the University of Maine and the University of Southern Maine in the Best National Universities and Best Universities – Master’s rankings, respectively.

“I am absolutely delighted that the UMFK campus has been selected for this distinctive recognition by U.S. News & World Report,” said University President, Dr. Richard W. Cost.  “The recognition shines a bright light on our excellent faculty, our committed staff, this wonderful community, and our outstanding students.  

“We love our rural environment and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else, but we need to work a little harder than some to let people know about UMFK.  U.S. News is nationally-known, highly-respected, and its rankings are used by students and parents alike when selecting an institution of higher learning.  This is the kind of edge that helps us attract students,” Dr. Cost added.  

For prospective students and their families, the 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. 

For the seventh consecutive year, U.S. News helps by spotlighting schools with outstanding examples of eight types of academic programs that have been shown to enhance learning: first-year experiences; learning communities; writing in the disciplines; senior capstone; study abroad; internships or cooperative education; opportunities for undergraduate research; and service learning.The baccalaureate colleges in the listings focus on undergraduate education, but grant fewer than 50 percent of their degrees in liberal arts disciplines. The listings include institutions where at least 10 percent of the undergraduate degrees awarded are bachelor's degrees.

Indicators used by US News to capture academic quality fall into seven categories: assessment by administrators at peer institutions; retention of students; faculty resources; student selectivity; financial resources; alumni giving; and graduation rate performance.  

The indicators include input measures that reflect a school's student body, its faculty, and its financial resources, along with outcome measures that signal how well the institution does its job of educating students.