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UW-RF Ranked Among Best Public Universities in Midwest

UW-River Falls has been recognized as one of the top public universities in the Midwest, according to U.S. News and World Report.

The ranking was included in the 2003 America's Best Colleges report, which was released last week by the national news magazine.

Chancellor Ann Lydecker welcomed the evaluation as an important endorsement of the quality of UW-RF. "Of the dozens of surveys and rankings of quality in higher education institutions, U.S. News and World Report generates the greatest attention. Their assessment of the quality and value of UW-River Falls is on target.

"Their assessment is not only beneficial to us as we recruit students, faculty and staff, but it's of tremendous consequence regionally as we partner with local government and economic development organizations to recruit and expand high tech and high-paying industries to the St. Croix Valley and western Wisconsin."

"We've always known that UW-River Falls is an exceptional place," Lydecker said. "It's great that the message is now being shared nationally by a prominent news organization."

U.S. News relies on a wide range of criteria to arrive at its rankings system. These include peer assessment of academic reputation through the voting of university presidents and admissions officers, retention of students, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving. Graduation rates also are weighed.

Lydecker noted that UW-RF showed gains in several categories: an increase in its ranking of academic reputation; a four-year graduation rate that trails only UW-Madison in the University of Wisconsin System, and in student indebtedness at graduation. In the latter category, UW-RF graduates carry an average debt of $11,500, which was the 11th lowest of all public master's universities in the Midwest and all Wisconsin public institutions.

UW-RF's ranking was among all public bachelor's and master's universities in Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Kansas and Michigan. Twelve institutions were included in the list of top public universities in the Midwest, including six from the University of Wisconsin System.


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