BC Again in US News' Top 40

BC Again in US News' Top 40

By Reid Oslin
Staff Writer

For the fifth consecutive year, Boston College has been ranked among the top 40 national colleges and universities in the annual rating published by US News and World Report.

In addition, US News ranked the Carroll School of Management in the No. 32 position among national undergraduate business programs, a five-position improvement over CSOM's ranking in the magazine's first business school listing in 1997.

US News also placed Boston College at No. 45 in a listing of the "best values" among all American colleges and universities.

BC ranks 39th overall among the nation's 228 national universities according to the latest US News listing, based on the criteria of academic reputation, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving and graduation rate performance.

A change in methodology in the magazine's ranking system is likely responsible for BC's 39th-place ranking, after being tied with three other institutions at No. 36 in last year's survey, according to Dean of Enrollment Management Robert S. Lay.

"Actually, with four schools tied at No. 36, it meant that we were placed somewhere between No. 36 and No. 40 on the list a year ago," he said. "We have stayed at relatively the same position."

Lay also noted that Boston College's overall rating score is a single point below the five institutions that were tied for No. 34 on the current national list.

"The fact that we have reached the top-tier level of universities continues to extend our reputation across the country," Lay said. "I feel that reaching this plateau is more important than the actual ranking number in any given year."

Lay said the University fared especially well in a number of the key evaluation categories. BC was 21st among all national universities in graduation rate (85 percent) and 23rd in lowest applicant acceptance rates (40 percent). Lay pointed out that the University's graduation rate was the same as that of the California Institute of Technology, the top-rated school in the US News survey.

Lay also noted that BC has made significant advances in faculty resources, moving up to 54th place from its ranking at 87th two years ago, which he attributed to the University's $260 million investment in academic resources and programs.

BC also demonstrated progress in alumni giving, moving from 54th to 47th place .

"We have improved in so many respects over the years," Lay said. "But we still need targets and benchmarks, and rankings are a way to remind us of how we compare against our peers.

"It's impossible to summarize a university's strengths in just a single number. Rankings are one of those 'factoids' that students and their parents should review when they are choosing a college. We suggest that they quickly learn to move beyond the numbers."

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