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September 14, 2011


If it’s true that good news comes in threes, then the University of Maine at Fort Kent certainly has hit the trifecta of college accolades early on this academic year.

UMFK was again named among the Best Regional Colleges in the North in the 2012 issue of U.S. News & World Report, released today by the publisher. This year’s rankings put UMFK among the top 50 of all colleges in the North region, climbing 11 spots in the overall rankings, and moving up three slots among the best regional public colleges.
The U.S. News & World Report ranking marks the third accolade for UMFK in the last month. In August, UMFK was cited for the seventh consecutive year as a Best Northeastern College by The Princeton Review; an accolade derived primarily from student input. Three weeks ago, the University was selected as a College of Distinction, one of only 200 colleges and universities, nationwide, to receive that qualification.
“I am excited that our campus has earned this distinctive recognition by U.S. News & World Report and shown such a dramatic improvement,” 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 has great teaching, actively engaged students, excels in student success, and is part of a vibrant community. It’s great to have it confirmed by an organization as reputable as U.S. News & World Report. UMFK is justly becoming recognized as a small public university of regional excellence.”
The 2012 rank marks the second consecutive year of UMFK’s meteoric rise up the ladder in the U.S. News & World Report rankings. Last year, the University broke into the top 50 (Tier 1) rankings. In 2010, UMFK was 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 (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.
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. 
Three Maine public colleges – UMFK, the University of Maine at Farmington and Maine Maritime Academy -- are recognized in the 2012 U.S. News & World Report top 50 ranking for the North region.
For prospective students and their families, the 2012 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.