The U.S. News and World Report ranked the University of Montana as the number one university in the state of Montana, several places ahead of Montana State University in Bozeman.

UM Vice President for Enrollment and Strategic Communications, Cathy Cole, is already communicating the news to prospective students and their families.

“I’m going to put this on every ad that we have, and I’m going to tell every parent,” said Cole. “This is a confirmation to us that we’re doing the right things, but we will use this in our marketing, and this is a good thing for us to talk to parents about that among our peers we really are a highly ranked institution and we’re ranked for doing the right things in and out of the classroom, our professors are acknowledged for being world class and that our programs really are the ones that will help our students get jobs, not only when they graduate, but with their fifth job and their last job.”

Cole said the ranking is gratifying to UM personnel who have been working so hard over the past few years.

“U.S. News and World report comes out with their rankings of colleges and universities around the country and we believe we moved up in the rankings and moved past our good friends at Montana State University in Bozeman because of our quality both in and out of the classroom and the experiences that we give our students in transformational learning opportunities and hands-on experiences,” she said.

Cole said UM is anticipating a drop in enrollment of about five percent, after an especially large graduating class last year.

“We’ll be hovering right around the 11,000 mark,” she said. “We expected this and we’ve planned for it and it was right within our projection, but we do have some work to do.”

Cole believes this news from U.S. News and World Report is a step in the right direction.