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WNY COLLEGES RANK WELL IN ANNUAL GUIDE

The University at Buffalo is among the country's top 50 national public universities and Geneseo State College is tied for first place among regional public universities in the North, according to U.S. News & World Report.

UB is tied for 48th in the top public category in the magazine's just-released 12th annual guide to "America's Best Colleges," due on newsstands Monday.

The university is also listed among the best national colleges, public or private, in America.

Geneseo State, with consistently high ratings over the years, is also tied for third among the best regional schools in the North, and is listed as having the fifth highest graduation rate (80 percent) of regional universities in the North.

"We are pleased that independent organizations continue to recognize Geneseo's outstanding academic reputation, as well as the high caliber of our faculty and students," said Geneseo State President Christopher C. Dahl.

"This recognition is very welcome indeed, and validates Geneseo's strong commitment to excellence in undergraduate education."

Houghton College, in another impressive listing, is among the top national liberal arts colleges.

Alfred University, which has historically scored high in the U.S. News listings, is tied for 13th among best regional schools in the North, and is second among regional schools offering the best value in the North.

(Alfred is also listed among regional universities in the North whose Class of '97 graduated with the "most debt" -- an average of $21,000.)

Fredonia State College, another repeat high scorer, is tied for seventh among top regional public colleges in the North, and also appears on the top tier of best regional schools, public or private, in the North.

"Fredonia State's consistent high rankings occur because of the quality of our incoming freshman classes and our outstanding retention rates," said Fredonia State President Dennis L. Hefner.

"What's more important is that we're developing new programs and initiatives that will improve our statistics
even more in the years to come. Student success, both in and out of the classroom, is the top priority at Fredonia State."

St. Bonaventure University is third among best values in regional schools in the North, and Canisius College is tied for fifth in the same category.

Canisius and St. Bonaventure are also listed on the top tier of best regional schools, public or private, in the North.

Niagara University, Buffalo State and D'Youville colleges are also among best regional schools in the North.

Medaille, Daemen, Hilbert and Empire State colleges are among the best liberal arts colleges in the North.

Many of the rankings in the listings are ties this year -- with the No. 1 spot in the top category, best national universities, a tie among Harvard, Princeton and Yale universities.

Others in the top 10, including ties, are the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford, Cornell and Duke universities, University of Pennsylvania, California Institute of Technology, Brown, Columbia and Northwestern universities and Dartmouth College.

Amherst College is the best national liberal arts school in the rankings -- which are determined by a college or university's mission and region; academic excellence, and comparisons with peer schools.

Measures of excellence include academic reputation, retention of students, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving and graduation rates.

In all, 12 SUNY institutions, including most of those in Western New York, rank on the magazine's lists or receive special mention.

To arrive at its rankings, U.S. News and World Report surveyed officials at 1,400 accredited four-year colleges and universities.

Academic rankings will appear in the Aug. 31 issue of U. S. News & World Report, also due out Monday. "Best value" listings are expected to run in the magazine the following week.

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