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First-in-nation pass rate ranking for University of Northern Iowa CPA candidates in most recent report

September 16, 2003

Gerald Smith, UNI head and professor of accounting, (319) 273-2394
Vicki Grimes, University Marketing & Public Relations, (319) 273-2761

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Results released by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) list the University of Northern Iowa in first place for the pass rate of first-time candidates on the Uniform Certified Public Accounting (CPA) Examination in May 2002, the most recent May exam for which data is available.

On that exam, 56.4 percent of UNI's first-time candidates without advanced degrees passed the complete exam, placing them No. 1 of the more than 1,000 colleges and universities represented among the candidates. This compares to a national first-time pass rate of 15.4 percent. An additional 27.3 percent of UNI graduates passed some parts of the exam.

Gerald Smith, professor and head of accounting at UNI, said UNI also was ranked first in May 2000 and May 1997, but even more significant is the sustained effort on the part of UNI accounting alumni.

'For the last nine years, UNI has been in the top 10 schools in the nation in terms of its ranking on May first-time pass rates,' he said, 'and has earned a third-place ranking for the 10-year period. Our success has been over the long haul and not just a good ranking in one year. We are certainly pleased that our alumni continue to excel on this measure, but we're equally pleased with the success that they achieve in all dimensions of accounting practice.

'This continuing recognition also speaks to the dedication of the faculty toward their teaching responsibilities, and the support of the program by the administration of this university. We believe we are educating the whole student with a very strong overall program.'

When looking only at Iowa statistics on the May 2002 exam, UNI alumni were 55.4 percent of the successful Iowa first-time candidates, from among approximately 25 Iowa colleges and universities producing CPA exam candidates.