Princeton drops behind Harvard in U.S. News rankings
Princeton dropped to second place after Harvard in U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of America’s best colleges and universities, according to an Associated Press story posted around 4 p.m. on Aug. 16 at whiznews.com.
Princeton had been ranked as the top college in the United States for nine out of the last 10 years. Yale is third on this year’s list, followed by Columbia, Stanford and the University of Pennsylvania.Princeton also fell to second place in the 2008 rankings after eight consecutive years of at least sharing the top spot. That year, Princeton was also ranked behind Harvard, which now holds first place by itself for the second time in three years. In recent history, Princeton and Harvard have often shared the top ranking, and Harvard dropped to second place in the 2006 rankings. Williams College sits alone atop U.S. News’s ranking of liberal arts colleges.
The 27th annual U.S. News rankings, which are set to be released officially on Aug. 17, come less than a week after Forbes magazine released its third annual college rankings. Princeton, which was ranked first in Forbes’s inaugural rankings in 2008, took second place behind Williams this year, while Harvard took eighth.Both U.S. News and Forbes consider graduation rates in formulating their rankings. U.S. News also considers criteria such as class size, average SAT scores and alumni giving rates. Forbes accounts for how many alumni are listed in the 2008 “Who’s Who in America” register, results from ratemyprofessors.com and national award rates for students and faculty. This year, U.S. News also instituted several changes in its ranking methodology, incorporating ratings by high school counselors and placing a greater emphasis on graduation rate.
Colleges across the country, including Princeton, have often criticized the U.S. News survey, charging that no ranking can do justice to a school's individual characteristics. Several schools have refused to participate in the survey in recent years, though Princeton has not been among them.
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