The rankings, which were marred this year by a distribution snafu that caused the magazine to be prematurely released at newsstands in Vermont and Ohio, saw Princeton University move into the number 1 position, replacing last year's top finisher California Institute of Technology. Harvard and Yale universities tied for second place with Cal Tech (4th) and MIT (5th) rounding out the top five.
Boston College, which moved up one place in the overall rankings to 38th (along with Case Western Reserve and Lehigh universities), was aided in its advance by showing improvement in admissions selectivity, from 36th place last year to 33rd. Alumni giving also improved from 47th to 32nd, with BC touting an average of 28 percent. BC moved into the top 100 in the category of financial resources, which measures university investment in research and academics, finishing at 99th place.
Just one point separated BC from a 35th-place ranking with Georgia Tech, University of Southern California and the University of Wisconsin, all of which were tied for that position.
Boston College, Notre Dame (19th) and Georgetown (23rd) were the only Catholic universities in the top 40. BC was the only one of the three to advance in the rankings this year. California boasted the most schools in the top 40 with six, followed by Massachusetts with five (Harvard, MIT, Tufts University, Brandeis University and BC).
Academic Vice President and Dean of Faculties John Neuhauser greeted the news with satisfaction, given the intense competition of the rankings process. "I am delighted that we have moved up this year to 38th place among the nations' best colleges and universities," said Neuhauser. "While we shouldn't let external measures be a primary motivation, it is certainly heartening to have moved up in so many categories."
Added Dean of Enrollment Management Robert Lay, "Boston College continues to be ranked in the top 25 for two of the key criteria that US News recommends for students and their parents choosing colleges: graduation rate (19th) and acceptance rate (23rd).
"Therefore, it should come as no surprise that we are ranked 5th by US News for applications received this year by national private universities for freshman admission," said Lay, noting that BC finished just behind Cornell University and USC, and ahead of Harvard and Stanford University in this category.
US News' complete guidebook, containing rankings of all colleges and universities, will be released in the coming weeks. It can be accessed online at http://www.usnews.com.
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