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UH Hilo receives national rankings by U.S. News & World Report

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Date: Tuesday, January 22, 2002
Contact: Jim Cromwell, (808) 974-7414

For Immediate Release

The University of Hawai'i at Hilo has received high marks in The U.S. News & World Report annual ranking of America's best colleges on the national level in two important categories.

The study found that UH Hilo ranked ninth among national liberal arts colleges in campus diversity and 14th in percentage of international students. UH Hilo was the only public institution making the national ranking in the campus diversity category and was number two among public institutions -- trailing only the University of Maine-Presque Isle -- in the percentage of international students among the student population.

"For the first time, UH Hilo is ranked at a national level while in previous years we were ranked as a regional institution, so this is a prestigious step forward for us," UH Hilo Director of Admissions James Cromwell said. "Look at the schools we are ranked with and you'll see Amherst, Wellesley, Occidental, Swarthmore, the Claremont Colleges -- these are some excellent schools with a national reputation, and here we are one of the top ten liberal arts schools in the country in terms of a diversified student population."

UH Hilo was the only school whose so-called "largest minority" actually comprised a majority of the students. Fifty-six percent of the student population was identified as being of Asian descent.

"We might have done even better in terms of diversity had the U.S. News and World Report study broken down the category of Asian and Pacific Islanders even further, because one of the categories given weight on their measure of diversity is admission of underrepresented minorities," Cromwell said.

"Here at UH Hilo, we have significant percentages of students of Hawaiian and of Filipino descent. Those are groups who are definitely underrepresented when it comes to higher education. But unfortunately for our ranking, the study just lumps them all together under the category of 'Asian.'

Seventeen percent of the students at UH Hilo are Hawaiian, while 5.8 percent are Filipino. Japanese students comprise 13.7 percent of the student population, Chinese students 2.2 percent and Pacific Islanders
other than Hawaiian, 5.7 percent. Seven-point-seven percent of the student population identified themselves as being of "mixed" descent. "We are an inclusive university in a small but cosmopolitan city, so these numbers represent our success in educating an ethnically diverse student population and attracting a considerable amount of international students to our university," Cromwell said.

"What these numbers really mean is that for those seeking an education in a culturally diverse setting, the University of Hawai`i at Hilo is an excellent choice."

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