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Release: Immediate

UI earns honorable mention in TIME's "College of the Year" competition

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa is one of six colleges and universities to earn honorable mention in the first annual "College of the Year" competition conducted by "The Best College for You," a co-publication of TIME Magazine and The Princeton Review. The college guide praised the UI as "a top public university that offers cost-effective programs of study in diverse areas" and "embraces a combination of teaching, research and service."

The TIME/Princeton Review college guide will be on newsstands and in bookstores nationwide beginning Monday, Aug. 25.

Florida A and M University in Tallahassee won the "College of the Year" honors. Sharing honorable mentions with the University of Iowa were DePaul University, Chicago; DePauw University, Greencastle, Ind.; Trinity College, Hartford, Conn.; the University of California at Los Angeles; and the University of California state system.

Here is what the college guide says about the UI:

"A recent book, The Rise of American Research Universities, named the University of Iowa among the nation's top 'rising public universities.' Iowa offers cost-effective programs of study in diverse areas, plus a diverse environment in which to pursue these studies. It embraces a combination of teaching, research, and service, says former regent Marvin Pomerantz. 'Iowa has been at the forefront in the nation in identifying and removing old and emerging barriers to access and in developing innovative remedies to eradicate them.'"

"This is an exciting honor for us," said UI President Mary Sue Coleman. "As we have made clear in our statement of core values, we aim for accessibility, affordability and quality so that a broad range of qualified students from Iowa and elsewhere may obtain an excellent education at a reasonable cost."

"We also believe that we have an obligation to prepare our students for the increasingly global marketplace," Coleman added. "When a magazine like TIME, with its international reach, singles us out for praise, that's good evidence that we are succeeding."

Owen J. Newlin, president of the State Board of Regents, was also pleased that the college guide chose to honor the UI. "We know that there is an growing concern among students and their parents about the cost of a college education, but so often those perceptions of cost are based on the prices for private colleges and universities on the East Coast. It's nice to see that TIME is dispelling that myth by re-emphasizing that 'value' is a combination of quality and price and by pointing out that public universities such as the University of Iowa offer a high quality, affordable education."

The TIME/Princeton Review publication is the third college guide to highlight the University of Iowa this month. Earlier, Money Magazine included the UI among its "100 Best College Buys," and last week U.S. News and World Report rated the UI as the 15th best public university in the nation.

"In identifying a 'College of the Year,' we are not seeking to name an overall 'best' college but rather one that has demonstrably improved itself and, in the process, advanced the cause of higher education in general," said Barrett Seaman, Special Projects Editor at TIME.

Candidates for the award were chosen with the help of 10 independent experts in higher education. Members of the panel identified criteria by which to judge schools and helped identify institutions fulfilling those criteria.

The guide's editors and educational panel deemed the issue of greater access to institutes of higher education as the most urgent issue in American higher education today. "With rollbacks in affirmative action and a U.S. population that will continue to grow more and more diverse in coming decades, we all thought that assuring access to the greatest number of qualified applicants was the critical challenge facing colleges today," Seaman said.

The College of the Year educational panel of experts includes: Carole J. Everett, director of admissions, Nightingale-Bamford School, New York City; Jack Gourman, director of research, National Education Standards and author of The Gourman Report; Howard Greene, president, Educational Consulting Centers; Marybeth Kravetz, college consultant, Deerfield (Ill.) High School, co-author of The K and W Guide to Colleges for the Learning Disabled; Christina Milano, executive director, Cleveland Scholarship Programs; Marvin Pomerantz, past president, Iowa Board of Regents and chairman and CEO, Gaylord Container Corp.; Allen P. Splete, president, Council of Independent Colleges, Dr. Israel Tribble Jr., president and CEO, Florida Education Fund; Imy Wax, certified counselor in private family practice; co-author, The K and W Guide to Colleges for the Learning Disabled; Ed Zschau, professor of management, Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration.