U.S. News ranks New Paltz 10th on list of best Northern public universities

NEW PALTZ — The State University of New York at New Paltz has received a ranking of 10th among best public universities in the North with master’s degree programs in the recent U.S. News & World Report’s rankings for America’s Best Colleges 2005.

U.S. News and Word Report - Best Colleges 2005New Paltz also ranked 50th among public and private universities in the North with master’s degree programs. The only other SUNY school to rank higher was Geneseo.

New Paltz was also recognized in the same category as one of the colleges having the most international students (2 percent of student population), lowest acceptance rate (5th on the list) and was listed as a top school for diversity — just above 23 percent of the incoming freshman class come from historically underrepresented groups.

In addition, in the 2005 student opinion data put out annually by the Princeton Review, New Paltz was named as one of the best 151 schools out of 708 surveyed in the Northeastern region.

“It is gratifying that the rankings reflect characteristics that set us apart from other institutions,” said L. David Eaton, New Paltz’s vice president for enrollment management. “However, they remain a very crude way of measuring the very complex process of determining which college or university may be the best fit for an aspiring college student. These rankings do not capture important elements such as campus culture, facilities, ambiance, safety and other factors that are crucial to decisions concerning college choice.”

For the 14th consecutive year, New Paltz has led all SUNY university colleges in total applications received, total freshmen applications and total transfer applications. With an acceptance rate of 38 percent, New Paltz remains one of the most selective universities in the Northeast and is among the 5 percent of campuses across the country that accept less than half of their applicants.

Moreover, while the demand for a New Paltz education continues to grow, retention is also improving dramatically. The first-year retention rate for fall 2004 is expected to be at 85 percent, up significantly from 76 percent just six years ago. Total enrollment for the fall semester is expected to be about 8,000, which is consistent with past years.

“We’re pleased to see our growing quality recognized in these rankings and hope this will lead more of the best students to consider New Paltz,” said Steven Poskanzer, president of SUNY New Paltz. “But at the same time, our hope would be that prospective students would make their decision based on deeper familiarity with our school.”