Passing the CPA exam on the first try: Top colleges are ranked

Kansas is known for its bumper crops but who knew they were growing accountants? At Kansas University's School of Business, 72 percent of students without advanced degrees passed the CPA exam on the first try, which is much higher than the average considering most people take the exam more than once.

Kansas's Lawrence Journal-World reported that of the 69,259 candidates who took at least one portion of the exam in 2007, only 21,893 were taking it for the first time.

This puts KU in some lofty company, ranking number four in terms of the rate of accounting students without advanced degrees who passed last year's exam on the first try. Number one is the University of Texas at Austin with 76.8 percent and number two is a tie between Texas A&M University and the University of Iowa with 73.3 percent.

"This ranking reflects well on the quality of the accounting program and the KU School of Business," said Paul Mason, a senior lecturer in forensic accounting at KU. "There is no question that we have some of the best students in the country, and this ranking helps highlight that fact."

Mason told the Lawrence Journal-World that corporate recruiters from the area often seek out students for employment and students go on to pursue jobs in Atlanta, Chicago, and Dallas.

Rounding out the top 10 schools were: University of Georgia at 71.7 percent; University of Wisconsin at 70.3 percent; University of Virginia at 68.4 percent; Auburn University at 67.4 percent; and a tie for ninth place with the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and the University of Washington, Southern Methodist University, at 66.7 percent.

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