New Paltz star continues to rise in rankings
NEW PALTZ -- Retention and acceptance rates continue to propel the State University of New York at New Paltz toward the top tier of U.S. News and World Report's annual university rankings.
Released Thursday, the annual rankings placed New Paltz in the second tier of "Best Universities Masters" in the North. The category includes universities in 11 Northeast states and the District of Columbia, and uses data from fall 2000.
Measures used by U.S. News and World Report that best represent the rising quality and growth at New Paltz are freshman retention and the acceptance rate. Freshman retention has risen each year since 1997, when it was 75 percent. The 2000 data used by U.S. News has New Paltz' retention at 79 percent. University data for the fall 2001 semester shows retention at 84 percent, a significant increase that will be included in next year's rankings.
Similarly, New Paltz' acceptance rate tightened to 46 percent in 2000, while 2001 data shows an acceptance rate of 41 percent. The university's 2000 acceptance rate is the third most stringent in the "Best Universities Masters" category.
"Acceptance and retention are viewed as measures that reflect the quality of programming and the overall academic environment," said L. David Eaton, New Paltz' vice president for enrollment management. "The number of people who want to come here continues to increase, and our students are choosing to stay."
Eaton projects that the recent improvements in freshman retention will lead to dramatic increases in the university's graduation rate in 2003 another key measure used in the rankings.
While the data collected and used by U.S. News and World Report is one way to quantify university improvement, New Paltz officials point to programs and opportunities as key components of the campus' success.
In the State University of New York's systemwide opinion survey, New Paltz' ratings rose significantly in nearly all of the 80 categories covering the overall university environment, facilities and services.
"Our students tell us that they value New Paltz' quality of instruction, contact with faculty, the opportunities for study abroad and the breadth of diversity on the campus," said David Lavallee, provost and vice president of academic affairs. "Those are measures that tell us we're meeting students' needs, while the data provides additional evidence."
Located in the heart of a dynamic college town, 90 minutes from metropolitan New York City, the State University of New York at New Paltz is a highly selective college of about 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
One of the most well-regarded public colleges in the nation, New Paltz delivers an extraordinary number of majors in Business, Liberal Arts, Sciences, Engineering, Fine and Performing Arts and Education.
New Paltz embraces its culture as a community where talented and independent minded people from around the world create close personal links with real scholars and artists who love to teach.