Business First College Rankings

June 7, 2012 Updated Jun 7, 2012 at 7:08 AM EDT

By WKBW News

June 7, 2012 Updated Jun 7, 2012 at 7:08 AM EDT

Eleven universities located within 100 miles of Buffalo have qualified for
a list of the 50 most selective colleges that are in easy traveling distance
for Western New York students.

The University of Rochester and SUNY Geneseo have earned the top
selectivity scores inside the 100-mile radius, according to new rankings by
Business First.

Other nearby schools qualifying for the top 50 list are the Rochester
Institute of Technology, the University at Buffalo, SUNY Fredonia, the
College at Brockport, Roberts Wesleyan College, St. John Fisher College,
Alfred University, Buffalo State College and Canisius College.

Business First analyzed 2010 admissions figures for 98 four-year colleges
within a zone that includes Western New York, the rest of Upstate New York,
Northern and Western Pennsylvania, and Northeastern Ohio. (The study was
limited to schools that processed at least 1,000 applications a year ago.)

This is the first time that college rankings have been included in Business
First's annual schools report. Details are available right now (Thursday) at
the newspaper's website:

Ninety-nine percent of the Western New York high school students who
advance to college stay within the Upstate New York-Pennsylvania-Ohio zone,
based on figures from the New York State Education Department and the
National Center for Education Statistics.

Two Upstate colleges emerged with the top selectivity scores within this

-- Cornell University, which is 126 air miles from Buffalo in Ithaca, ranks
as the most selective college of all.

-- Second place belongs to Poughkeepsie-based Vassar College, which is 268
air miles away.

Rounding out the overall top five are Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon
University and two more Upstate schools, Hamilton College and Colgate

Business First based the selectivity rankings on a three-part formula.
These were the factors:

-- The percentage of applicants who were admitted in 2010, the latest year
for which official figures are available.

-- The 75th percentile score on college-entrance exams, reflecting the ACT
and SAT scores submitted by applicants (converted to the SAT's 1,600-point
scale). The 75th percentile score was better than 75 percent of all scores

-- The 25th percentile score on the same scale.

The formula compared each school against the national averages in all three
categories. Above-average performances received positive scores, while
below-average figures got negative marks.

The rankings did not include schools that did not report admissions rates
or college-entrance scores for 2010, those that processed fewer than 1,000
applications, and two-year colleges.

Schools in Southern Ontario, though close to Western New York, were
excluded because they do not report to the National Center for Education

Selectivity, of course, is just one of dozens of factors that determine
whether a college is right for a given individual, but it can be a useful
indicator of a school's status.

Cornell is No. 1 within the three-state zone because it admitted the
smallest share of applicants in 2010 (18.4 percent), and it maintained the
second-highest upper-range SAT score (1,491 on the 1,600-point scale).

Four other schools in the zone admitted fewer than one-third of the young
men and women who applied: Vassar (23.6 percent), Hamilton (29.4 percent),
Bucknell University (31.4 percent) and Colgate (33.0 percent).

And seven institutions joined Cornell with SAT scores above 1,400 at the
75th percentile: Carnegie Mellon (1,493), Vassar (1,463), Colgate (1,447),
Hamilton (1,442), Case Western Reserve University (1,436), University of
Rochester (1,420) and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (1,416).

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1. Cornell University (Ithaca, N.Y.)

2. Vassar College (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.)
3. Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
4. Hamilton College (Clinton, N.Y.)
5. Colgate University (Hamilton, N.Y.)
6. University of Rochester (Rochester, N.Y.)
7. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, N.Y.)
8. Bucknell University (Lewisburg, Pa.)
9. Binghamton University (Vestal, N.Y.)
10. SUNY Geneseo (Geneseo, N.Y.)
11. Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, Ohio)
12. Skidmore College (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.)
13. University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
14. Marist College (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.)
15. Penn State University (University Park, Pa.)
16. SUNY New Paltz (New Paltz, N.Y.)
17. Allegheny College (Meadville, Pa.)
18. Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, N.Y.)
19. SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (Syracuse, N.Y.)
20. Grove City College (Grove City, Pa.)
21. University at Buffalo (Buffalo, N.Y.)
22. University at Albany (Albany, N.Y.)
23. Syracuse University (Syracuse, N.Y.)
24. SUNY College at Oneonta (Oneonta, N.Y.)
25. SUNY Oswego (Oswego, N.Y.)
26. SUNY Institute of Technology (Utica, N.Y.)
27. Ithaca College (Ithaca, N.Y.)
28. SUNY Fredonia (Fredonia, N.Y.)
29. Siena College (Loudonville, N.Y.)
30. SUNY Cortland (Cortland, N.Y.)
31. College at Brockport (Brockport, N.Y.)
32. Juniata College (Huntingdon, Pa.)
33. Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (Albany, N.Y.)
34. Franciscan University of Steubenville (Steubenville, Ohio)
35. Clarkson University (Potsdam, N.Y.)
36. Roberts Wesleyan College (Rochester, N.Y.)
37. SUNY Plattsburgh (Plattsburgh, N.Y.)
38. Susquehanna University (Selinsgrove, Pa.)
39. St. John Fisher College (Rochester, N.Y.)
40. University of Scranton (Scranton, Pa.)
41. Baldwin-Wallace College (Berea, Ohio)
42. Alfred University (Alfred, N.Y.)
43. Westminster College (New Wilmington, Pa.)
44. Duquesne University (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
45. Le Moyne College (Syracuse, N.Y.)
46. Lycoming College (Williamsport, Pa.)
47. Buffalo State College (Buffalo, N.Y.)
48. Hartwick College (Oneonta, N.Y.)
49. Misericordia University (Dallas, Pa.)
50. Canisius College (Buffalo, N.Y.)

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