NJIT’s Bloom thrilled by Top 100 ranking: ‘It’s where we belong’

Governor Chris Christie attends the ribbon cutting ceremony at NJIT's new Life Sciences and Engineering Center in Newark.

New Jersey Institute of Technology President Joel Bloom said the school happily accepts its latest accolade — being ranked in the Top 100 of the prestigious U.S. News & World Report college rankings for the first time — for one simple reason:

Bloom feels the school earned its place as one of seven colleges tied at No. 97 in the rankings of national universities on merit — and through hard work.

“It’s not a matter of perception,” he said. “It’s where we belong based on the investments we have made in the success of our students and faculty.

“I’m particularly gratified because this recognition is the direct result of efforts that have yielded tangible and important results. NJIT’s rise in these rankings is about substance.”

The ranking is just the latest honor for the school.

“We now are rated R1 for research by the Carnegie Classification; we are ranked No. 1 in the nation by Forbes for the upward economic mobility of our students from the lowest brackets of family income; and Payscale.com ranks NJIT No. 43 out of more than 4,000 universities for the mid-career earnings of our graduates,” Bloom said.

For NJIT, the ranking marks a jump of nearly 50 spots from two years ago, when it was ranked in a tie for No. 140. In 2018, the school jumped into a tie for No. 106.

Fadi Deek, NJIT’s provost and senior executive vice president, said the students deserve a lot of the credit.

“What’s most notable about NJIT’s rapid climb in the U.S. News ranking is that it is directly attributable to measures of student success,” he said.

“The primary drivers of our ranking gains have been graduation and retention rates, resource allocations that support students and faculty, and NJIT’s success in attracting high-achieving students. These empirical measures show that NJIT is putting student success at the forefront of all that it does.”

The student numbers are impressive as well.

Applications to NJIT have jumped from 4,300 in 2013 to more than 9,000 this year, the school said.

This year’s freshman class of nearly 1,400 had an average high school GPA of 3.6 with an average SAT score of 1,297. For the 154 students entering NJIT’s Albert Dorman Honors College, the average GPA was 3.95 and the average SAT was 1,486.

U.S. News said it ranked nearly 1,400 colleges and universities throughout the country based upon “outcomes, faculty resources, expert opinion, financial resources, student excellence, and alumni giving.”

NJIT feels its push to expand its faculty has played a part in its rise as well.

NJIT officials said the school has hired 150 new faculty members in recent years and has dramatically enhanced its research enterprise. NJIT now conducts $170 million in annual research activity and is rated an R1 research university by the Carnegie Classification, which is the highest possible ranking.

NJIT also has increased the percentage of classes with 20 or less students and has reduced the percentage of classes with more than 49 students.

For all its recent honors, Bloom said the school is thrilled by its noteworthy rise in both retention and graduation rates in recent years and its performance as a national leader with regard to the social/economic mobility of its students, such as the persistence and success of students from low-income families.

It all led to the latest honor.

“Joining the top 100 National Universities represents an important milestone for NJIT,” Bloom said.

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