As New Mexico Tech wakes up from its winter hibernation and students return to campus for the spring semester Tuesday, an internet research outfit called Niche.com has released findings showing Tech as the highest rated school in the state. Coming up close behind Tech is University of New Mexico, followed by New Mexico State University.

Factors influencing the ranking involve academics, professors, diversity, value for the money, safety, campus, student life and local area. Scoring used a five point scale, with Tech coming out with a 4.0 overall grade.

Tech received A’s in the categories of Academics, Value for the money and Professors, and an A-minus for Diversity. As for Safety, Tech received a B. In the Campus category, Tech scored a C. The lowest scores were earned for student life and local area; both coming in with a C-minus.

One student response, as reported by Niche, praised Tech’s professors and advisors.

“The Chemical Engineering group of Tech is one of the smaller engineering groups so the professors are able to work closely with us,” the student wrote. “Our academic advisers keep up with our grades and immediately contact us if there is a problem with our grades or attendance. Our advisers also keep a flow chart where we can check off the classes that are needed to get our degree.”

Runner up UNM scored a 3.7 overall, with its highest grades A-minus.

“We are gratified to see this recognition of our dedicated faculty and staff who work hard to make sure New Mexico Tech students receive a top-notch education,” the university’s Public Information Officer Thom Guengerich said. “Being ranked by Niche.com is more than just invaluable exposure. These rankings show that our instruction is second-to-none and that a degree from Tech is a valuable commodity.”

Niche also pitted New Mexico Tech up against all public schools nationwide. Out of 2,500 institutions of higher learning, New Mexico Tech ranks 73rd overall.

“New Mexico Tech consistently ranks highly in national rankings like these and we are proud to see that we stack up well when compared to other universities across the country,” Guengerich said. “Each ranking that recognizes New Mexico Tech is another feather in our cap. This shows the quality of education students receive here and the high caliber of our faculty.”

Although a handful of students earned their degrees in December, the headcount going into the Spring semester is essentially the same as Fall; almost 1,400 fulltime undergraduates and over 250 graduate students. With the addition of part-time and non-degree seeking students the total population exceeds 2,100.

An exact count will not be available for another two weeks, Guengerich said.