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UMass Lowell Reaches New Heights on National Ranking

University is Second-Fastest Mover on U.S. News & World Report List Since 2010

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UMass Lowell has climbed 31 spots since it was first ranked among the best universities in the nation by U.S. News & World Report in 2010.


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LOWELL, Mass. – Reflecting gains in overall quality and student success, UMass Lowell has reached a new high on the latest U.S. News & World Report ranking of national universities, which was released today.

UMass Lowell has climbed 31 spots since it was first ranked among the best universities in the nation by U.S. News & World Report in 2010, rising from No. 183 to No. 152. Its ascent in the rankings is the second-fastest in the nation over the last six years and UMass Lowell is the only institution, public or private, in the eastern United States to move up more than 30 spots over the same timeframe. Among the public institutions that made the National Universities ranking, UMass Lowell is No. 78, up from No. 84 last year.

To determine the annual top colleges and universities in the nation, U.S. News & World Report assesses more than 1,600 four-year institutions based on up to 15 factors, including assessment of excellence, student-success rates, faculty resources, student selectivity and alumni giving. Those factors include considerations such as small class sizes (59 percent of UMass Lowell classes have fewer than 20 students, compared to an average of 39 percent among peer institutions), freshman retention rates (86 percent of UMass Lowell first-year students return as sophomores, up from 78 percent in 2010) and student-faculty ratio (18:1 at UMass Lowell).

Based on more than 49 percent of last year’s freshman class being in the top 25 percent of their high-school graduating class and having an average high-school GPA of 3.5, UMass Lowell is also an “A+ School for B+ Students” according to U.S. News & World Report’s new rankings. This fall, UMass Lowell’s first-year students have an even higher average high-school GPA – 3.59 – and the highest-ever combined SAT score, 1179.

The U.S. News & World Report rankings released today are the latest to cite UMass Lowell for academic quality. Earlier this year, the publication ranked the university’s online bachelor’s degrees No. 39 overall in the nation. In addition, online graduate programs (education is No. 9, information technology is No. 30 and business is No. 41) and on-campus graduate programs (including business, chemistry, engineering, nursing, physical therapy and physics) are also among the best in the U.S.

The university was also recently recognized by the Chronicle of Higher Education, which, for the second year in a row, named UMass Lowell to its Fastest-Growing Colleges list, ranking it ninth in the nation among public doctoral institutions for its 54.9 percent enrollment increase from 11,000 in fall 2004 to 17,000 in fall 2014. UMass Lowell has continued to grow enrollment, welcoming its largest-ever group of first-year and new transfer students this fall.

UMass Lowell also gets high marks for graduates’ success.’s College Salary Report found that, with an average of $94,700, UMass Lowell ranks No. 28 in the nation and No. 1 among New England public research universities for mid-career salaries earned by graduates with bachelor’s degrees. UMass Lowell also ranks No. 1 among New England public research universities for graduates’ return on their educational investment.

“All of these rankings illustrate the quality and value that UMass Lowell is delivering to students and the academic success they are achieving,” said UMass Lowell Chancellor Jacqueline Moloney. “As a university community, we have set high goals for our institution and developed a strategic plan to guide us on our path to becoming a world-class institution. Our rise in the rankings is evidence that we are well on our way.”

Moloney, who recently marked her first anniversary as chancellor of UMass Lowell, previously served as executive vice chancellor for eight years, helping to guide the university through the most notable period of growth in its history.

UMass Lowell’s dramatic transformation over the last nine years includes the opening of 12 new buildings since 2009, including a state-of-the-art research facility, an academic building for health and social sciences, two new student centers, the region’s premier sports and entertainment venue, a downtown location combining university housing and lodging and function space for the public and the campus, along with three residence halls and two parking garages.

A 13th new building, the Pulichino Tong Business Center, which will house the university’s Manning School of Business, is scheduled for completion early next year. Other renovation projects since 2007 have improved existing academic buildings, residence halls, the campus’ two libraries, its largest dining hall and academic and research space.

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 17,500 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.