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 In fact, the school expressed a measure of contrition this past week over its “outdated and/or incorrect methodologies” in misreporting the data.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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