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October 29, 2012


For a second consecutive year, the University of Maine at Fort Kent has secured three national academic accolades to start the academic year. The trifecta of college accolades bodes well for UMFK, which this fall has seen a big increase in total student enrollment, returning students, and new enrollments of freshmen, transfers, and online students.

This past week, UMFK was named for second year as a College of Distinction, one of only 294 colleges and universities representing 42 states and two countries (United States and Canada) to be honored as Colleges of Distinction for the 2012-2013 school year.

Colleges and universities are nominated for participation in Colleges of Distinction through high school counselors' recommendations, as well as quantitative research. Schools featured on represent the cutting edge of higher education including experiential learning, study abroad, and internships.

The Colleges of Distinction recognition marks the third accolade for UMFK in the last three months.

In August, UMFK was named as a Best Northeastern College by the prestigious publication, The Princeton Review. The honor marked the eighth-consecutive year that UMFK has been designated among the top schools in the 11-state northeastern region. The University is particularly proud of The Princeton Review designation, as it is an accolade derived primarily from student input.

In mid-September, the University was again ranked among the top 15 public colleges in the North, according to the 2013 edition of U.S. News & World Report's Best Regional Colleges. That designation denoted the third consecutive year of UMFK's meteoric rise up the ladder in the U.S. News & World Report rankings. Two years ago, the University broke into the top 50 (Tier 1) rankings. In 2010, UMFK was listed in the third-tier, non-ranked, status on the best regional public colleges list.

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, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, and alumni giving.

The U.S. News rankings rely on quantitative measures that education experts have proposed as reliable indicators of academic quality, and on U.S. News' researched view of what matters in education.

“I am excited that our campus has earned each of these distinctive recognitions yet again,” 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. We focus on high-impact educational practices – learning communities, undergraduate research, and experiential education. It all adds up to student success, and it's great to have it confirmed by three quality organizations,” President Hess added.