Latest U.S. News Rankings Put UT at 53rd Nationally, 17th Among Publics


A college’s reputation is a tricky thing to quantify. Still, in the form of rankings, reputation is nevertheless a meaningful indicator for students and alumni keeping an eye on the value of their degrees.

The biggest name in the college rankings game is U.S. News and World Report, whose 1,000-pager, America’s Best Colleges, is annually purchased by droves of anxious high-school seniors and their parents. Today, U.S. News released its yearly ranking of the best colleges and universities, and UT came in at 53rd nationally. That’s a slight drop from last year’s 52nd slot.

Unsurprisingly, the Ivies topped the list, with Princeton, Harvard, and Yale filling out the top three. At 20th, Rice was the top-ranked school in Texas, with A&M coming in at 63rd. In a separate ranking of public universities, UT fared better: It was ranked 17th, between Penn State, Florida, and Washington (in a three-way tie for 14th) and Ohio State (18th).

Two of UT’s schools and colleges landed on their respective lists, with the McCombs School of Business slotted as the 8th-best business school in the nation and the Cockrell School of Engineering at 10th. Those rankings are for undergraduate programs only; U.S. News‘ grad-school rankings, released in March, had numerous UT programs in the top 10.

UT president Bill Powers told the Texas Tribune that university administrators watch the rankings while also understanding their limitations. “I take them with a grain of salt but that’s different than saying we ought not care about them,” he said, adding that some of the factors emphasized by the U.S. News methodology, like SAT scores, tend not to favor UT. Under the so-called Top 10 Percent Law, UT must offer admission to students who graduate near the top of their high school classes.

Photo by Amyn Kassam.


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