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

FLORENCE---For the second year in a row, 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, 2003 Edition, which goes on sale Sept. 16.   The magazine released the rankings Sept. 13.

 FMU is in the third of four tiers of 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. There are 572 universities in the master’s level category, ranked within four geographic areas—North, South, Midwest and West—because they generally draw students heavily from surrounding states.

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 through peer assessment, 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 2.6 (on a 5.0 scale) in peer assessment.  No institution in the third tier had higher than a 3.1 in this category.

 Other scores given to FMU were:  70 percent in average freshman retention rate, 34 percent in average graduation rate, 46 percent of classes with fewer than 20 students, three percent of classes with more than 50 students, a 14 to one student/faculty ratio, 92 percent of faculty who are full-time, 870 to 1070 from the 25th to 75th percentile on SAT scores, 36 percent of freshmen in top 25 percent of high school class, 77 percent acceptance rate, and 7 percent of alumni contributing to the university.  All data are based upon 2001-2002 academic year.

 Despite an African-American enrollment of more than 30 percent, FMU was not ranked among the top schools in the South in the magazine’s campus diversity category.  This is the first time in five years that FMU was not ranked in this category.

 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.

#34 / 9-13-02

Last Published: April 14, 2004 12:10 PM
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