None of Michigan’s national universities ranked in the top 10 or 20 list of U.S. News & World Report best colleges for 2018, which were announced Tuesday.
The University of Michigan did top the list of the state’s universities coming in at No. 28.
UM was followed by Michigan State University at No. 81, Michigan Technological University at No. 124, Central Michigan University and Western Michigan University tied at No. 207, and Wayne State University at No. 223. Oakland University and Eastern Michigan University were listed as “rank not published.”
Robert Morse, chief data strategist at U.S. News & World Report, explained why a school would be listed that way, or not be ranked at all.
“There are a number of reasons for why a school might not be ranked by U.S. News & World Report, from not using SAT/ACT scores in admissions decisions to having too few enrolled students,” Morse said. “This is different from a school being designated as ‘rank not published,’ which means that U.S. News did calculate a numerical rank for that school, but chose for editorial reasons not to publish it. Schools that are ‘RNP’ are in the bottom 25 percent of their rankings category.”
U.S. News & World Report ranked nearly 1,400 institutions from data mostly provided by the schools themselves. It is not an exhaustive list of all the Michigan schools ranked in every category.
“We appreciate the top-tier ranking, but what matters most for students selecting a school is the match between the particular interests, abilities and ambitions of each individual student and the specific programs and opportunities offered by a particular school,” UM spokesman Rick Fitzgerald said.
Michigan State University spokesman Jason Cody said the university uses its own measures to determine success.
“While we appreciate the different groups and organizations that put out rankings of universities, that’s really only one measure of a university — whatever their methodology,” he said. “But there are other ways we believe accurately measure the success of our university.”
Cody said those measures include graduation rates, affordability and student and alumni successes.
“These are some of the measures we look to when trying to determine the strength of our academic program,” he said.
Morse said the rankings measure academic excellence, “with schools ranked on up to 15 indicators of academic quality – what we call ranking indicators.”
“The rankings emphasize student outcomes – including graduation and retention rates – which carry the most weight in our methodology at 30 percent. We believe students and their families should pay close attention to these indicators as they can show how well a school financially and academically supports its students through graduation.”
Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey, is ranked No. 1 for the seventh year in a row.
The other top schools include Harvard University (No. 2); University of Chicago and Yale University (No. 3, tie); Columbia University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University (No. 5, tie).