U.S. News & World Report rates UMES 25th among HBCUs

  • Monday, September 12, 2011

    U.S.News & World Report "Best Colleges" ratings

    PRINCESS ANNE, MD-(Sept. 13) The University of Maryland Eastern Shore continues to move up in the annual peer rankings among the nation's historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). 

    The latest independent survey by "U.S. News & World Report" places the university at number 25-a move that is three notches up from its 2010 spot.

    Which HBCUs offer the best undergraduate education?  According to U.S. News, the same formula is used in the "Best Colleges" rankings for regional universities.  Peer assessment by the presidents, academic officers and admissions deans of the schools account for 25 percent of the equation with equal weight given to graduation and retention rates.  The other 50 percent takes into consideration faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving.

    "Increased enrollment, coupled with an increase in average SAT scores and an increase in retention rates attest to the fact that UMES is positioning itself as one of this nation's premier HBCUs," said former President Thelma Thompson, who led the school for the last nine years.

    Enrollment has increased steadily over the past five years at the university to its current student body of 4,500.  This year, UMES enrolled a freshman class of 780.  When three new science degrees come online, these students can choose from 34 undergraduate degrees, 13 master's degrees and seven doctoral degree's-one being the three-year Pharm.D. program added in 2010.

    A low student-to-faculty ratio (17 to 1), emphasis on testing and accreditation (25 of the academic programs are peer accredited) have produced improvements in a student retention rate of nearly 70 percent.  Eighty-one percent of UMES' faculty is full-time.       

    U.S. News reports that 52 percent of the students who apply to UMES are accepted. 

    Alumni and university supporters have responded to these positive trends by making record-breaking contributions.  This past June, the school completed and exceeded its five-year capital campaign, raising nearly $15 million.

    UMES is ninth among its Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference HBCU peers and first among its University System of Maryland HBCU peers.

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    Gail Stephens, assistant director, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-651-7580, gcstephens@umes.edu.  

    Bill Robinson, director, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-621-2355, wrobinson3@umes.edu.