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UMass Lowell Climbs in Prominent National Ranking

University is Up a Dozen Spots Over Last Year, 25 Since 2011 on U.S. News & World Report List


Media contacts: Christine Gillette, 978-934-2209 or and  Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944 or

LOWELL, Mass. – UMass Lowell is in the top tier of universities in the nation for the fourth consecutive time, climbing a dozen spots since last year and 25 since 2011 in U.S. News & World Report’s annual ranking of institutions of higher education. 

U.S. News & World Report today released its 2014 Best Colleges and National Universities rankings. The annual lists, which study more than 1,500 four-year colleges and universities around the United States, are considered among the most influential for parents and prospective students in selecting a school.

UMass Lowell is No. 158 on the list of Best National Universities, up from 170 last year. In just three years, the university has climbed 25 spots in this ranking and continues to be among the top 100 public universities in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report. In determining the annual ranking, U.S. News & World Report looked at criteria including the breadth of programs offered and the institution’s reputation among academic peers. Also considered were factors like retention rates (approximately 84 percent of UMass Lowell freshmen continue on for their sophomore year) and alumni giving (UMass Lowell recently logged its third consecutive record year for fundraising, including 16 percent annual growth in alumni giving). 

“Just four years ago, UMass Lowell was ranked for the first time in the top tier of national universities. To have that ranking climb 25 places in just a few years is a testament to the work that has been done by UMass Lowell’s faculty, staff and administrators to turn this institution into a world-class university. As a campus, we have set high goals and continued to surpass them, reaching new heights in enrollment, student satisfaction and retention rates, all while building on the university’s reputation for excellence,” said UMass Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan. “This is recognition of the quality and value of a UMass Lowell education and that both continue to grow.”

UMass Lowell has recently earned top honors in other national, independent rankings based on factors including quality and graduates’ return on investment, including being named No. 10 on Forbes magazine’s 25 Best Value Colleges for this year – one of only two New England institutions to make the list – and as the “Most Underrated College in America” by Business Insider. and Affordable Colleges Online also recognized UMass Lowell for return on investment (ROI). PayScale ranks the university No. 10 among public colleges and universities and No. 50 among private and public institutions, noting that UMass Lowell is one of just 75 in the nation whose graduates have a 30-year net ROI of more than $1 million. The university is in the top 1 percent in the United States for ROI, Affordable Colleges Online said in its ranking, which also placed UMass Lowell at No. 10 nationally. 

UMass Lowell – which has graduated record numbers of students at each of the last six Commencement ceremonies and this year had its first graduating class of more than 3,000 – has seen enrollment grow by 40 percent since 2007. The student body has surpassed 16,000 for the first time in the university’s history and represents more than 50 countries. As enrollment has increased, so have the academic qualifications of UMass Lowell students; this year’s freshman class has an average SAT score of 1137 (up 63 points since 2007) and an average high-school GPA of 3.36. Two hundred and seventy first-year students have joined UMass Lowell’s Commonwealth Honors Program.

UMass Lowell is a national research university located on a high-energy campus in the heart of a global community. The university offers its more than 16,000 students bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in business, education, engineering, fine arts, health, humanities, sciences and social sciences. UMass Lowell delivers high-quality educational programs, vigorous hands-on learning and personal attention from leading faculty and staff, all of which prepare graduates to be ready for work, for life and for all the world offers.