When it comes to the top science schools in the nation, does the U come to mind? According to TIME, it should.
A recent article by TIME Money listed the U as No. 20 in the nation among “great, accessible colleges” for science and engineering students. The list overlooked schools such as MIT and Stanford in favor of those with higher acceptance rates to highlight the reasonable choices for students who are unable to attend more prestigious (and expensive) colleges.
The study considered acceptance and graduation rates, as well as post-graduation annual salaries, in its rankings. All of the schools on the list accept more than two-thirds of applicants, and alumni, on average, have annual salaries of more than $50,000 per year.
The U is ranked after George Mason University. While that school has a lower acceptance rate than the U, 67 percent as compared to 81 percent, U alumni, on average, have a higher annual salary. The list shows the average annual wages of U alumni in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) as just more than $59,000 compared to George Mason University’s $58,600.
Maine Maritime University ranked No. 1, with an admissions rate of 79 percent and an annual alumni salary of more than $70,000 — the highest on the list. The college with the lowest salary, while not the lowest ranked school overall, is Wheaton College, with an average STEM graduate salary of $50,800.
MIT graduates, in comparison, earn approximately $78,000 at the beginning of their careers and typically earn around $140,000 annually after a decade in the field. But the school’s acceptance rate was much lower, at eight percent for the 2015/2016 school year.
The U has the sixth highest acceptance rate on the list, with the highest being CUNY College of Staten Island at 94 percent. In comparison, U STEM alumni earn, on average, $10,000 less per year than CUNY graduates.
U faculty and staff approve of the data presented by the study as an accurate representation of the university.
The admission rate presented, however, is that of the university as a whole, rather than that of specific STEM colleges and majors. The U’s status, though, as one of the best and most accessible schools in the nation for higher education in science, bodes well for the university.
Rather than any formal sort of nomination, the U was chosen by TIME based on its credentials. Henry White, dean of the College of Science, is excited about its implications for the school.
“This honor, and being ranked highly in many other national rankings, reflects the values and the strengths of the College of Science programs,” he said.
White believes the U’s undergraduate science programs provide real-world opportunities to students unique to the school, which sets it apart from other colleges.
“The College of Science departments are ranked among the best science and mathematics programs in PAC 12,” he said. “A large fraction of our undergraduates are employed in excellent positions within the Utah workforce or continue on in the best graduate programs in the country.”