Southern universities rethink goals amid recession

LEXINGTON, KY. (AP) - Some universities in the South are struggling to maintain their goal of moving up the college rankings in the wake of a nationwide recession.

The University of Kentucky, University of Tennessee and Clemson University have all announced plans in recent years to improve their standing among public research institutions. All three continue to aim high despite tightened funds.

UK has seen freshman applications skyrocket even amid trying economic times and tuition increases. It is expanding online learning programs as a way to offset the loss of legislative funding for its initiative to climb into the nation's top 20 public schools.

One recent ranking lists Clemson at No. 23 among public universities. Its spokeswoman says it would be higher if not for cutbacks.

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