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U.S. News & World Report Ranks FMU In Top 100

FLORENCE---Francis Marion University has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report magazine as one of the south’s top 100 master’s level universities.

 The rankings will be published in the magazine’s book America’s Best Colleges, which goes on sale Sept. 10.   The magazine released the rankings Sept. 6.

 FMU tied for 77th in the third of four tiers of 131 colleges ranked in the South.  FMU is among schools that are classified as master’s level institutions under the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, the grouping system that U.S. News uses as the basis for its ranking categories.

 U.S. News & World Report also ranked Francis Marion University as having one of the most diverse student bodies among regional universities in the South for the fourth year in a row.

The method that U.S. News uses to rank colleges and universities consists of three basic steps.  The schools are categorized primarily by mission and in some cases, region, using data in 16 indicators of academic excellence.  The indicators used to capture academic quality fall into seven categories: academic reputation, retention of students, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving and graduation performance.  The ranking formula gives greatest weight to academic reputation.

 Francis Marion University was given a 2.9 (on a 5.0 scale) in academic reputation.  No institution in the third tier had higher than a 3.2 in this category.

 Other scores given to FMU were:  69 percent in average freshman retention rate, 34 percent in average graduation rate, 53 percent of classes with less than 20 students, two percent of classes with more than 50 students, a 14 to one student/faculty ratio, 92 percent of faculty who are full-time, 860 to 1040 from the 25th to 75th percentile on SAT scores, 38 percent of freshmen in top 25 percent of high school class, 77 percent acceptance rate, and 9 percent of alumni contributing to the university.  All data is based upon 2000-2001 academic year.

 In the diversity rankings, FMU was listed 13th  among Southern schools with a diversity index of .45 (1.0 being the highest).  FMU’s student body is 32 percent African-American. 

The “most ethnically diverse” category is intended to provide a list of colleges where students might attend as a place to learn from people of different backgrounds.  To identify schools where students are most likely to encounter undergraduates of different racial or ethnic groups, U.S. News used a mathematical equation based on the proportion of various groups in each institution’s 2000-2001 student body.  Minority groups included in the calculation are American Indians, Alaskan Natives, Asians, Pacific Islanders, blacks (non-Hispanics), whites and Hispanics.

 FMU is classified by the magazine as a regional university, an institution which offers a wide selection of undergraduate programs and master’s degrees, but few, if any, doctoral programs.  FMU offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in more than 30 areas of study.

#26 / 9-7-01

Last Published: May 13, 2004 10:40 AM
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