UM ranked #47 in “Best Colleges”

Sorry Gators, the University of Miami is officially the number one school in Florida according to the 2011 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s annual “Best Colleges in America” issue.

The rankings, which were released Tuesday at midnight, put UM on top for the first time, followed by UF and FSU in the state. Nationally, UM now ranks 47th, up from 50th last year. UM shares the position with Penn State and the University of Illinois.

In addition, U.S. News ranked UM 48th in its “Great Schools, Great Prices” category.

“I was shocked,” President Donna E. Shalala said. “I’m so proud of our students, faculty, and staff for working hard to make this happen.”

Since Shalala took over the presidency in 2001, the university has managed to climb 20 slots, making UM one of the fastest-rising institutions in recent history.

“I’m excited about how fast we’ve moved,” Shalala said. “No one has ever really done that before.”

The rankings are based on several criteria, including peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity and alumni giving.

“We’ve worked so hard to get to this point,” Shalala said. “Now let’s focus on the fact that UM is getting better and will continue to do so.”

Megan Terilli may be contacted at