UM Rises to No. 38

U.S. News ranks best colleges for 2012

According to U.S.News & World Report’s 2012 “Best Colleges” issue, released in September, the University of Miami ranks among the nation’s top 40 institutions of higher learning.

Up nine spots from last year and 29 in the past decade, UM’s accelerated ascent to No. 38 is a unique achievement within the current top 50.

“The dramatic rise this year,” explains Executive Vice President and Provost Thomas J. LeBlanc, “was due to continued improvements in student quality, retention, and graduation rates coupled with an unusually large improvement in our undergraduate academic reputation, as measured by a survey of college presidents, provosts, admissions deans, and high school guidance counselors.”

Bolstering the University’s reputation are its admissions figures. Between 2000 and 2010, average SAT scores for the entering freshman class went from 1175 to 1295; the percentage of freshmen who were in the top 10 percent of their high school graduation class rose from 45 to 68; and freshman application submissions nearly doubled from 13,080 to 25,899, resulting in a more selective acceptance rate of just 39 percent.

Another key metric in the U.S. News rankings, the six-year graduation rate, also hit an all-time high of 80 percent at UM, compared with 62 percent in 2000.

“All the credit goes to our incredible trustees, faculty, student body, staff, alumni, parents, and all our supporters over the years,” says UM President Donna E. Shalala. “This has truly been a climb to excellence. The road to excellence means investments in our students, in our faculty, in our facilities. But more than anything else, it’s a tribute to all of those who believe in the University of Miami, who believe in quality education. This is a success story not just for the University but our entire South Florida community.”

This marks UM’s second year as Florida’s top-ranked school.

   For more on the magazine’s methodology for ranking top academic institutions, visit