Northwestern moves up to 10th place in U.S. News rankings


Daily file photo by David Lee

University Hall, 1897 Sheridan Rd.

Cameron Cook, Reporter

Northwestern was ranked the 10th best university in the country in this year’s national rankings by U.S. News & World Report — up one spot from last year.

NU tied with Johns Hopkins in this year’s rankings, released Monday. Northwestern’s placement represents the first top 10 ranking since 2002.

The rankings are determined based on “hard objective data alone” and a use “outcomes, faculty resources, expert opinion, financial resources, student excellence and alumni giving” as indicators, according to U.S. News. First year retention rate, graduation rate and faculty-to-student ratio also influence a school’s rank

However, according to a recent Politico article, U.S. News also implemented a new methodology this year to “reward schools that enroll and graduate more students from low-income families.”

“The formula now includes indicators meant to measure “social mobility” and drops an acceptance rate measure that benefited schools that turned the most students away. U.S. News says the changes are based on discussions with college leaders during the last year and the new social mobility indicator is based on newly available federal data,” Politico reported.

“We’re delighted to be moving up in the rankings,” said Bob Rowley, assistant vice president of media relations. “We understand there has been a lot written about the rankings and that there is debate over the effectiveness of the methodology, too. Obviously, however, we also see it as a very positive sign that Northwestern is increasingly well and favorably known in the world.”

U.S. News also ranked Northwestern 15th in “Best Value Schools” and 26th in “Undergraduate Teaching.”

The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education rankings, released last week, puts Northwestern at 13th place, just above the University of Chicago, which ranked third in the U.S. News and World Report with Yale University. WSJ/THE rankings are determined by 15 indicators and are based largely on surveys of current college students, according to Times Higher Education.

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