FORT KENT, Maine — The University of Maine at Fort Kent is no stranger to national recognition.
For four consecutive years, the university has been named “Best Northeastern College” by the Princeton Review, and the UMFK men’s soccer team put the school on the map last year with its prowess during the NAIA National Tournament. Bill Ashby, the team’s head coach, was also named the National Soccer Coaches Association of America-Adidas NAIA Northeast Regional Coach of the Year.
This year UMFK has been listed as one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report in its recently released 2009 rankings. The Fort Kent college was listed among the “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” in the North region.
Of the top 32 schools in their category of colleges, Maine Maritime Academy in Castine was listed at No. 10 and the University of Maine at Farmington at No. 18. Other comparable Maine colleges mentioned in the list that, like UMFK, did not receive a numerical ranking were: Unity College in Unity, Thomas College in Wa-terville, and the University of Maine at Augusta.
Prospective students and their parents use the rankings to help determine what colleges are the best fit.
UMFK President Dr. Richard W. Cost was excited about the college’s achievement.
“We are delighted,” Cost said in a recent phone interview. “This ranking was based on a number of factors, and those factors help define our campus.”
Indicators used by U.S. News & World Report to determine academic quality fall into seven categories: assessment by administrators at peer institutions; retention of students; faculty resources; student selectivity; financial resources; alumni giving and graduation rate performance.
“This honor was achieved because of teamwork,” Cost said. “You cannot do this alone. Those who compiled the list looked at the faculty, student retention, how the alumni is contributing to the university. It was work on the part of everyone.”
This is the seventh year that U.S. News & World Report has presented the rankings and Cost said it was a wonderful accolade that will speak well for UMFK in the future.
“The recognition shines a bright light on our excellent faculty, our committed staff, this wonderful community and our outstanding students,” he said.
BDN news intern Dan MacLeod contributed to this report.