|August 18, 2006|
Union scores high in U.S. News rankings
The Nott Memorial
Union College is included in the top tier of the country's leading liberal arts colleges, according to U.S. News and World Report's annual rankings.
The F.W. Olin Center
The College is ranked 39th out of 215 schools in the 2007 edition of America's Best Colleges (issued Monday, Aug. 21). Highlights of the rankings are also included in the magazine's Aug. 28 issue.
The College was ranked 36th last year and 40th two years ago.
"We are pleased, of course, to once again be listed among the best national liberal arts colleges,'' said Union President Stephen C. Ainlay. "Even a cursory review of the list should impress upon readers the vast array of educational opportunities available to today's students.
"Small movement, either up or down, within the list says more about the tight clustering of schools than actual differences between them,'' Ainlay said.
Schools were ranked based on such key measures of quality as peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources and student selectivity.
The only other liberal arts school in the region to be included among the top 50 was Skidmore.
But as is true of other listings, Ainlay observed, "some component measures in the U.S. News and World Report scoring system provide us with useful comparative guideposts that help us gauge our educational programs.
"Every institution must weigh the significance of each composite measure to its educational mission,'' he said.
U.S. News also singled out Union's engineering program this year, placing it 20th among undergraduate institutions accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Last year, the program ranked 21st.
The first liberal arts college to introduce engineering in 1845, Union today leads the way in making sure its graduates are at home in both worlds under its Converging Technologies program.
The College is setting itself apart in other ways. The school does not offer a business major, yet students get a crash course in how the principles of entrepreneurship are at home in disciplines such as the Classics, Engineering and English. And this fall, the College will weave ethics lessons into existing courses across the curriculum.
Union's Minerva Houses are perfect for living, learning and leisure.
This also marks the third year of the College's innovative Minerva system, in which all students are assigned to one of seven houses to live, learn, interact with faculty and enjoy a range of social activities together.
The recognition from U.S. News follows other publications that recently have lauded Union's academic quality.
The 2007 Kaplan/Newsweek "How to Get into College" guide includes Union among "America's 369 Most Interesting Schools,'' and in July, the New York Times included the College in its list of 20 "hidden gems" in the higher education landscape. The current issue of Washington Monthly also ranks Union in the top half of best liberal arts schools in the country.
The latest honors come at a time when Union enjoyed a record-breaking year in Admissions, including the largest number of applicants in the College's 211-year history. Nearly 4,400 students applied for 563 spots in the Class of 2010. In addition, more students than in years past selected Union as their first choice.
"We are proud that many of the nation's best and brightest are choosing Union more than ever before,'' said Union Dean of Admissions Dan Lundquist. "Union is pleased to continue to be one of the top-ranked colleges in the country, in the company of many superb schools."
Union College, founded in 1795 as the first college chartered by the New York State Board of Regents, offers programs in the liberal arts and engineering to 2,100 undergraduates.