PRINCETON, N.J., Oct. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has finally reached its climax, overthrowing the reigning champion, Columbia University, to take the number one spot in the 7th annual Trojan Sexual Health Report Card. The annual study from the maker of Trojan® Brand Condoms and conducted by Sperling's BestPlaces, calls attention to the state of sexual health on campuses nationwide by ranking them according to accessibility of sexual health resources and information available to students.
This sweetheart story was no easy feat for the Illini, as they climbed their way to the top from No. 64 in 2010 to No. 2 last year and now has grabbed the No. 1 spot. Over the past two years, the university has invested time and resources to provide their students with exemplary sexual health programming on campus, earning perfect scores in condom availability, HIV testing, lecture/outreach programs and student peer groups, quality of the sexual health information on the school website, and overall website usability and quality.
"The Illini fought their way to the top, excelling in almost every category," said Bert Sperling, president of Sperling's BestPlaces. "From providing quality lecture and outreach programs, to the impressive sexual health information available on the website, the campus serves as an impressive model for schools around the country."
The Ivy Leaguers and Big Ten Like It on Top
The Ivy Leaguers are on top again, dominating the top ten. Brown University rose two spots to finish at No. 2, Columbia University finished strongly in third and Princeton University found their place at No. 4, down from third place last year. Newcomer Yale University joined their fellow Ivies at No. 6, up from 14th place in 2011.
With Illinois' No. 1 ranking, the Big Ten showed sexual health spirit with two other schools in the top ten rankings. University of Wisconsin registered another impressive score, climbing from No. 11 to No. 5, while the University of Iowa moved up a spot to No. 8.
Meanwhile, the bottom ten contained some familiar faces, as Seton Hall University (No. 132), St. John's University (No. 135), Troy State University-Main Campus (No. 138), and Providence College (No. 139) all returned to the bottom of the rankings for the second year in a row. Chicago State University (No. 137) and Brigham Young University (No. 140) found their way back at the bottom for the third year in a row, and the U.S. Air Force Academy finished last at No. 141 for the first time in school history.
Top Ten Sexually Healthy Schools
1. University of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign 2. Brown University 3. Columbia University in the City of New York 4. Princeton University 5. University of Wisconsin-Madison 6. Yale University 7. University of Arizona 8. University of Iowa 9. Colorado State University 10. Oregon State University
Bottom Ten Schools in Sexual Health
132. Seton Hall University 133. Savannah State University 134. Louisiana Tech University 135. St. John's University-New York 136. University of New Orleans 137. Chicago State University 138. Troy State University-Main Campus 139. Providence College 140. Brigham Young University 141. U.S. Air Force Academy
"Each year, we continue to see students and faculty use the Trojan Sexual Health Report Card as a valuable tool to shed light upon the importance of sexual health resources and to look for ways to improve," said Mark Gromosaik, group product manager of the Trojan Brand. "We are impressed to see the constant strides schools like University of Illinois are making to improve their scores and provide better resources for their students to stay sexually healthy on campus."
Making the Grade
This year's rankings saw a number of significant jumps, the largest coming from New Mexico State University-Main Campus, which rose 51 spots from No. 134 to No. 83. The campus is applauded for making condoms more conveniently available and improving upon the availability of HIV and STD testing information.
Syracuse University continued their impressive climb up the Report Card ranks, achieving the No. 25 spot. This is the third consecutive year the campus has improved their rankings, placing 76th in 2009, 53rd in 2010 and 49th in 2011. The school receives accolades for achieving perfect scores in overall quality of their website and the outstanding sexual assault programs in place.
Other notable jumps include DePaul University, which leaped out of the bottom ten for the first time in four years, coming in at No. 114 from last place in 2011. The newly established sexual health information website was the main factor propelling DePaul out of the bottom ten. They weren't the only school that escaped the bottom, as Baylor University (from No. 132 to No. 129) overall improved their website quality and have made notable efforts in providing additional information on contraceptives.
Report Card Rivalries
The Trojan Sexual Health Report Card adds a new spark to some of the more heated collegiate rivalries:
West coast rivals, University of Southern California and University of California Los Angeles, took their rivalry outside the stadium, with USC taking the win, ranking No. 66, and the Bruins coming in at No. 87.
The University of Michigan and Ohio State may be fighting head-to-head for football supremacy, but when it comes to sexual health information on campus, Michigan has the Buckeyes beat, ranking No. 13, compared to Ohio's No.14 ranking.
As for the Ivy Leaguers, Yale University trumped Harvard University for the second year in a row, coming in at No. 6 (No. 14 in 2011) with the Crimson ranking at No. 35 (No. 30 in 2011).
Conference Bragging Rights
The conference rivalry takes its battle to the sexual health arena, with the Ivy Leaguers claiming the conference title for the second year in a row. Coming back with the lead, the Ivy League earned a 3.20 GPA thanks to this year's second place winner, Brown University, who received a 3.51 GPA, in addition to Columbia's (3.45 GPA) and Princeton's (3.42 GPA) placement in the top five.
Right behind the Ivies were the Big Ten, earning a 3.11 GPA for the number two spot for the second year in a row. The Big Ten, which hasn't lead the conferences since 2010, was weighed down by newcomer, University of Nebraska at Lincoln, who earned a 2.70 GPA in sexual health.
The Big Ten was followed by Pac-12 (2.93), SEC (2.82), ACC (2.75), MAC (2.70), Big 12 (2.64), Conference USA (2.57), Mountain West (2.53), Big East (2.51), WAC (2.34), Sun Belt (2.30) and Independents (1.93).
Rankings & Methodology
The Trojan Sexual Health Report Card is an annual ranking of the sexual health resources and information available to students on campuses nationwide. Independent research firm, Sperling's BestPlaces, analyzes 141 major campuses drawn from conferences within the Bowl Championship Series and beyond. These schools include students representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Sperling's BestPlaces researchers collected extensive data via student health center representatives, along with follow-up secondary research on those centers and students on campus. Student health centers were graded on services across 11 separate categories, including the following:
1. Hours of operation 2. Allow drop-ins or require appointments for student scheduling 3. Quality of sexual health information and resources on website 4. Contraceptive availability -- free or at cost 5. Condom availability -- free or at cost 6. HIV testing on-site (On/off campus, cost) 7. STI testing on-site (On/off campus, cost) 8. Lecture/outreach programs and student peer groups for sexual health education 9. Sexual assault programs, resources or services 10. Overall website usability and quality 11. Extra credit
"Schools that did well in this year's Report Card tended to score uniformly high across all categories, while those ranked towards the bottom were less consistent in category grades," said Sperling.
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ABOUT SPERLING'S BESTPLACES
Bert Sperling has been helping people find their own "Best Place" to live, work and retire for more than 20 years. His firm, Sperling's BestPlaces, puts facts in the hands of the public so they can make better decisions about best places to live, work, retire, play, or relocate. His bestselling books, Cities Ranked and Rated and Best Places to Raise Your Family, are published by John Wiley & Sons. More information about Bert and his work is available at www.bestplaces.net.