Every year, US News publishes its official ranking for the best universities in the nation. The 38th edition was released on September 12, 2022 with some major differences than in year’s prior, most notably a massive drop in ranking for NYC’s very own Columbia University.
New York’s oldest institution of higher learning has taken a missive hit in national ranking, as it lost its previous 2nd place ranking to Massachusetts Institute of Technology. According to US News 2022-2023 list, Columbia University now holds the 18th spot for best universities in the nation. It’s the first time the university hasn’t placed in the top 10 for nearly two decades.
The rankings are based on various data involving 17 key measures of academic quality such as graduation rates, retention rates and social mobility indicators. Though new metrics were not applied for this year’s ranking, new methodologies were followed.
Schools are responsible for reporting data directly to US News’ surveys. However, Columbia University’s drop in ranking resulted after the institution released a statement that they had previously reported faulty data and “relied on outdated and/or incorrect methodologies” for certain metrics in the Common Data Set, specific metrics being class size and faculty with terminal degrees.
The discovery sparked after Columbia math professor, Michael Thaddeus, inquired through a blog post about the school’s exponential jump in ranking over the years. When the first US News rankings debuted in 1988, Columbia found itself at 18th place (just like it’s at now). And in the years that followed, it soared to 2nd place by 2021. As an explanation, Thaddeus shared that “several of the key figures supporting Columbia’s high ranking [were] inaccurate, dubious, or highly misleading.”
The list intends to steer students in the proper direction when making such a significant decision like where they should attend college. Thus, it is of the utmost importance that rankings such as this remain a reliable source for prospective students.
This year’s top 5 universities include Princeton University (1), MIT (2), Harvard/Stanford/Yale (tied for 3rd).
See the rest of the rankings here.