U.S. News & World Report Releases College Rankings

Manoa and Hilo Campuses Remain Stationary

University of Hawaiʻi
Jim Manke, (808) 956-6099
External Affairs & University Relations
Kristen Cabral, (808) 956-5039
Public Information Officer
Posted: Sep 13, 2002

The University of Hawai'i at Manoa and UH Hilo are again listed among the nation‘s colleges and universities surveyed for the 2003 edition of "America‘s Best Colleges," published by U.S. News & World Report. Both institutions remain in the same positions they held last year, with UH Manoa in the third tier of Best National Universities-Doctoral, and UH Hilo listed in the fourth tier of Liberal Arts Colleges.

"The University of Hawaii System has an outstanding faculty dedicated to providing every student with an exceptional education, however, it is no secret that we are significantly under funded and that makes competing with the top institutions nearly impossible," said UH president Evan Dobelle. "The state of Hawaii is ranked dead last in public support for higher education and that is reflected in the U.S. News rankings."

"Our students are the future political and professional leaders of this state and potentially this country — it is critical that our state government view the University as a strategic investment in our economic growth and stability," Dobelle added.

"Consider this — just four years ago both schools were ranked in the second tier, and a couple years before that Manoa ranked in the top 25 national public universities. Today we have increased enrollment, strengthened curriculums, expanded our graduate programs, and recruited a higher caliber of students — but the state has taken away virtually all of our financial resources, thus making it impossible to achieve a top ranking," said Dobelle.

In the US News data released today, UH Manoa is listed among 250 national institutions (public and private) that offer a full range of undergraduate majors along with master‘s and Ph.D. degrees and emphasize faculty research. Being in the third tier places UH Manoa in a category ranging anywhere from 130th to 194th on an unranked list.

Indicators used to measure academic quality fall into seven categories: academic reputation, retention of students, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving, and — for the categories into which UH Manoa and UH Hilo fall — a "graduation rate performance," the difference between the proportion of students expected to graduate and the proportion who actually do so.

By most of these measures, there is little change in data from one year to the next. US News notes that it is difficult to make straightforward comparisons from year to year due to survey methodology changes. UH Manoa also shows up in this year‘s table listing colleges whose graduates carry the least college expense indebtedness upon graduation. The magazine lists the campus at #23 in this category, noting that about 50% of UH Manoa students borrow to finance their educations. Average debt load of UH Manoa graduates after college is about $13,164.

UH Hilo‘s fourth tier listing is within the unranked grouping of schools ranging from 162nd to 214th. Schools in the National Liberal Arts Colleges — Bachelor‘s category focus almost exclusively on undergraduate education.

The magazine‘s national rankings are widely distributed early in the fall semester each year with the expectation that high school seniors will use data as part of the information they consider when choosing colleges to which they will apply. For more information, the magazine‘s complete rankings are available at www.usnews.com/rankguide/rghome.htm.