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New college rankings out Wednesday show the University at Buffalo's standing is as good as it has been in years, and many Western New York colleges and universities cracked the top 100 in their categories.
The U.S. News & World Report's latest list of "Best Colleges" showed UB tied for No. 106 among major public and private institutions in the nation, up five spots from last year.
Among public universities, the magazine ranked UB No. 51, up three spots.
In recent years, UB has fluctuated from No. 111 last year to No. 120 in 2004, so university officials are cautious about putting a lot of stock in the controversial but popular college guide.
Still, UB feels it has made strides and believes the state's help in implementing the university's strategic plan is having a transformative effect.
"We have invested in dozens of new faculty and expanded course offerings throughout the university," UB Provost Charles F. Zukoski said. "All of this is accomplished to enhance opportunities for our students and lend support to our belief that a UB education is of extraordinary value."
The magazine surveyed about 1,600 colleges, then categorized and ranked them in several areas.
UB tied for No. 106 with Loyola University in Chicago, North Carolina State University, the University of Kansas, the University of New Hampshire, the University of San Francisco and the University of the Pacific.
Meanwhile, Geneseo State College tied for No. 10 among comprehensive regional universities - those with a full range of undergraduate and master's programs - in the North.
In this category, Canisius College tied for No. 23; Alfred University, No. 26; St. Bonaventure University, No. 33; Fredonia State College, No. 55; Niagara University, No. 70; Buffalo State College, No. 104; and D'Youville College, No. 123.
Alfred also ranked No. 4 on the list of "best value" schools among regional universities in the North, while Canisius ranked No. 8.
UB's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences ranked No. 64 among the nation's undergraduate engineering programs, and its School of Management ranked No. 87 out of 625 accredited undergraduate business schools.
The rankings - based on a number of weighted factors, including graduation and retention rates, SAT scores and reputation among peer schools - are always controversial but are watched closely by institutions because of the publication's popularity with parents and students.
In fact, over the past year, some institutions - including Iona College, Emory University in Atlanta and Claremont McKenna College in California - admitted that their top administrators had fudged numbers to U.S. News in the past.
Ranked at the top of the list were Harvard and Princeton tied for No. 1; Yale, No. 3.; and Columbia University and the University of Chicago tied for No. 4.
For a complete list of the rankings check out www.usnews.com.

email: jrey@buffnews.com