Boston College placed 38th among national universities in the 2019 U.S. News & World Report rankings, released today.
The University, ranked 32nd last year, fell six places as a result of a major shift in the survey’s methodology which, analysts say, benefited large public universities this year.
Specifically, the methodology shift, in which more weight was given to Pell Grant recipient outcomes, favored large state institutions with higher numbers of Pell-eligible students. In addition, US News eliminated acceptance rates—which had benefited highly selective institutions such as Boston College—and gave less weight to traditional outcome metrics such as overall graduation and retention rates, high school counselor assessments and standardized test scores—metrics that have consistently placed Boston College between 30th and 32nd in the rankings for more than a decade.
Among the state flagship institutions that did well in the 2019 U.S. News survey were the University of California-Santa Barbara, which moved up seven spots in the rankings; University of California-Irvine, which improved by nine places; and the University of Florida, which improved seven ranks. All three public universities surpassed Boston College this year. The University of California-Davis advanced eight places in the rankings to move into a tie at 38th with BC and the College of William & Mary, both of which were tied at 32nd last year.
The University did well in several U.S. News specialty rankings, including the newly created “Commitment to Undergraduate Teaching” category, in which BC was ranked 16th overall, and the “Best Undergraduate Business Programs,” in which the Carroll School of Management improved three positions to 21st. In addition, the Carroll School was ranked 9th in finance, 11th in management, 13th in entrepreneurship, 27th in marketing, and 31st in accounting, all reflective of its high standing among business schools nationwide.
Boston College also improved to 33rd in the “Best Value Schools” ranking, based on the University’s commitment to need-blind admissions and to meeting the full demonstrated need of all of its accepted students. Among private national universities, Boston College ranked 22nd in the “Least Debt” category for graduating students.
Overall, in the National University rankings, Princeton was ranked first by U.S. News followed by Harvard at second, and Columbia, MIT, University of Chicago, and Yale tied for third.
Rankings of all colleges and universities can be accessed at the U.S. News website.