HYDE PARK — The University of Chicago has held onto its No. 3 spot in U.S. News and World Report rankings of national universities, as Northwestern University moved up the list and the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana fell.
The list released Tuesday keeps U. of C. tied with Yale University for the No. 3 spot behind Princeton University at No. 1 and Harvard University at No. 2, but shuffles around Illinois’ other top schools in the rankings.
U. of C. moved up to No. 3 last year in a tie with Yale and is the only university in the Midwest in the top 10 list that is dominated by the Ivy League schools.
The rankings can bring a lot of attention to schools, but even top-rated ones like U. of C. typically urge potential students to look beyond the number.
“Prospective students and parents should consider rankings in that context, and look beyond them to the university’s academic program, culture and opportunities for enrichment,” U. of C. said in a statement in 2016 when it was climbing in the rankings and in a position to boast. “A successful education depends more on finding an institution that best fits a student’s needs and goals than upon any statistical formula.”
This year is Northwestern’s chance to boast if it wants to, rising to No. 11 after two years tied for the No. 12 spot with the California Institute of Technology.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign saw a slide to No. 52 to tie with Pennsylvania State University after being knocked out of the six-way tie for No. 46 it had been a part of last year.
To even be considered for the list, universities have to have undergraduate and graduate programs. The ranking is then a mix of freshmen retention and graduation rates, class sizes and student-to-teacher ratios, scores on admissions tests and ratings by high school counselors and fellow college presidents, provosts and deans.
Loyola University Chicago fell to No. 103 from No. 99 last year, tying with the Illinois Institute of Technology, which stayed where it was last year.
DePaul University rose to No. 120 from No. 124 last year.
The University of Illinois at Chicago climbed its way back up the list to the No. 145 spot after falling to No. 152 last year from a previous high of No. 129.