2023 US News College Rankings

Columbia University is the headliner of this year’s US News ranking — and not for good reasons.

They’re out, they’re out. Read all about it. US News & World Report has released its latest iteration of its annual college ranking — and boy oh boy is it a juicy one. The headliner? No, it’s not Princeton University taking home the crown for the umpteenth time in a row. This year’s headliner can be spotted lower down the ranking. Columbia University, which, before being removed, last year ranked in a tie for second with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology — behind Princeton University — has plummeted to #18. Columbia is now ranked the lowest among the eight Ivy League institutions. It’s a fall from grace the likes of which we’ve never seen in analyzing these rankings over the last three decades. The cause? Columbia was caught with its hand in the cookie jar misreporting data to the publication behind the kingpin of the college rankings. In fact, the school expressed a measure of contrition this past week over its “outdated and/or incorrect methodologies” in misreporting the data. But it didn’t stymie the school’s inevitable plunge.

It was our understanding that Columbia had decided not to participate in this year’s ranking. But maybe the school won’t be participating in next year’s ranking? That remains unclear at the present time since there is conflicting reporting. Of course, the school may not wish to participate next year after ranking this year behind the seven other Ivy League institutions (Princeton University (#1), Harvard University (#3), Yale University (#3), University of Pennsylvania (#7), Dartmouth College (#12), Brown University (#13), and Cornell University (#17) along with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (#2), Stanford University (#3), University of Chicago (#6), Johns Hopkins University (#7), California Institute of Technology (#9), Duke University (#10), Northwestern University (#10), Vanderbilt University (#13), Rice University (#15), and Washington University in St. Louis (#15). Heck Columbia doesn’t even own this year’s #18 slot to itself. It shares the distinction with University of Notre Dame, which also came in at #20!

There were no other major movements up or down the rankings among the top 50 ranked national universities. Besides Columbia, with the exception of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign which rose rather significantly to #41, other top institutions either ranked the same or rose or fell on the margins. But maybe, it will come out, one of the schools misreported data and will be removed from the rankings several months from now? Who knows! It could happen again. Only time will tell. Stay tuned!


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  • ivy mom says:

    Looks like Columbia got a little too caught up in their anxiety to be widely perceived on par with HYPSM, and as a result sacrificed their integrity…it’s a shame

  • Jerry Zawicki says:

    Do Johns Hopkins and Wash U- heck even Northwestern- deserve to be slotted higher than ANY Ivy? Not in my book!

  • Darian Walker Smith says:

    The rankings HAVE to be biased, personally, by US NEWS editors to rank Columbia so high for so many years and Cornell so low. For example, isn’t US News based in New York City? And wouldn’t many of those editors and or their family members have applied to Columbia and Cornell? It naturally follows that acceptances to one and rejections from the other may influence their ranking bias. People are humans and they have feelings and some are quite vengeful also. And how ridiculous for Princeton to be ranked over Harvard and Yale for 10 years and Williams over Amherst for 10 years, or whatever the number of years it has been. I am certain if you found out the colleges these editors/children attended and were accepted to denied from, the rankings would make much more sense to the public! And the fraud That many of these schools are engaged in to raise their rank in US News makes them look not much better than the varsity blues scammers trying to get in them. Unless there are very simple verifiable objective metrics to fairly evaluate all the schools by, the rankings should be considered entertainment and fraudulent by objective observers. Finally the question of payoffs by universities to US News and/or its editors has never even been considered. Students and parents are engaging in fraud, college administrators are lying about facts, but US NEWS is the epitome of morality?

  • DBM says:

    I attended Columbia’s Admitted Student Day 4 years ago when Columbia’s ranking was very high but my impression of this college was surprisingly negative. I really worried about the quality of the service of the office which is worse than from my son’s public high school’s. I had a simple question about their financial aid, but it took me about 2 hours to find the right person to talk. Office A told me to go to the office B, and then office B told me to go to C, and all the stuffs were somewhat unprofessional. My son liked the atmosphere of Columbia, but he decided to go to Princeton and I think he did a right choice. The college ranking always should be taken with a grain of salt, but it finally reflects my reality. There must be lots of things that Columbia should improve.

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