Columbia University Drops Out of U.S. News Undergraduate Rankings

Columbia University is the first Ivy League school to drop out of U.S. News & World Report's undergraduate college rankings.
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Published on June 6, 2023
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  • Columbia announced June 6 that it will not submit data to the U.S. News and World Report undergraduate rankings.
  • Columbia praised the rankings' recent methodology adjustments but said, numbers alone cannot convey the broader experience of undergraduate life.
  • The university said it will develop new ways to present itself to prospective students and families.

Columbia University will no longer participate in U.S. News & World Report's (USNWR) undergraduate college rankings.

The Ivy League institution on June 6 announced its undergraduate school would no longer submit data to the rankings system. Its law and medical schools had previously stopped participating in their respective USNWR rankings.

Columbia is the highest ranked institution to drop out of the undergraduate college rankings. Other schools that have dropped out of USNWR's undergraduate college rankings include, Rhode Island School of Design, Colorado College, Baird College and Stillman College.

The university in its announcement praised recent changes to the undergraduate rankings methodology that added measures related to diversity in place of factors such as class rank and alumni giving. However, it ultimately concluded much is lost by distilling a university into a composite of data categories.

Columbia said it would publish the same data sets used by USNWR on its own web page, along with overviews prepared by an independent advisory firm. It will also continue to refine and expand its approach to prospective students and families while taking input on how to showcase the New York university's distinct characteristics.

But just as data are important, numbers alone could never convey the broader experience of undergraduate life at Columbia, the university said. There is no way to quantify the vibrancy of New York City, the richness of the university's three distinct undergraduate programs, or the transformative intellectual experience that all Columbia undergraduates encounter in Core Curriculum classes.