Princeton tops U.S. News college rankings for 9th straight year

Princeton University was named the top school in the nation for the 9th consecutive year by U.S. News & World Report, which released its much-anticipated annual rankings Monday morning.

New Jersey fared well in the rankings, as four schools made the Top 100 for the first time.

1: Princeton;
T62: Rutgers University-New Brunswick;
T72: Stevens Institute of Technology;
T97: New Jersey Institute of Technology.

New Jersey placed two other schools in the Top 150 and three more in the Top 200:

T132: Rutgers-Newark;
T139: Seton Hall University;
T166: Montclair State University;
T166: Rowan University;
T166: Rutgers-Camden.

The College of New Jersey was No. 4 in the rankings for the top regional universities in the North.

There are numerous rankings for higher education, but the U.S. News rankings — the longest running of the bunch — generally are regarded as the most prestigious and gather the most attention.

Here is the National Top 10:

1: Princeton;
2: Harvard University;
T3: Columbia University;
T3: Massachusetts Institute of Technology;
T3: Yale University;
T6: Stanford University;
T6: University of Chicago;
T6: University of Pennsylvania;
9: Northwestern University;
T10: Duke University;
T10: Johns Hopkins University.

Princeton spokesperson Michael Hotchkiss said the school is happy to be honored, while reiterating that the school measures itself in different ways.

“While we appreciate acknowledgement for our efforts as a research university dedicated to world-class education and innovation, our focus remains on preparing students for meaningful lives in the nation’s service and the service of humanity,” Hotchkiss told ROI-NJ.

“To do that, we strive to support a diverse community and offer financial aid that allows students from a wide-range of backgrounds and experiences to graduate debt-free, pursue a wide range of careers, and impact the community and world around them.”

NJIT, which was ranked at No. 140 just two years ago, celebrated its jump into the Top 100.

“Joining the top 100 National Universities represents an important milestone for NJIT,” President Joel Bloom said in a statement. “It’s not a matter of perception. It’s where we belong based on the investments we have made in the success of our students and faculty.”

Rutgers was ranked as the eighth-best school in the 14-member Big Ten, trailing Northwestern (No. 9), Michigan (T25), Wisconsin (T46), Illinois (T48), Ohio State (T54), Penn State (T57) and Purdue (T57).

Stevens and NJIT both ranked among the best predominately tech schools:

T3: M.I.T.;
T12: California Institute of Technology;
T25: Carnegie Mellon University;
T29: Georgia Tech;
T50: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute;
T64: Worcester Polytechnic Institute;
T74: Stevens;
T74: Virginia Tech;
T97: NJIT;
T104: Rochester Institute of Technology.

While the rankings are a new high for New Jersey, the state still trails many of its competitors in the Northeast.

Massachusetts had two schools among the Top 5, seven among the Top 50 and nine in the first 64. It also had three of the top four schools in the national liberal arts rankings.

New York had five in the Top 50 and 11 schools in the Top 100.

Pennsylvania had four schools in the Top 50 and seven schools in the national Top 100.

California had the most schools ranked with 10 in the Top 50 and 16 schools in the Top 100.

Other New Jersey schools earned rankings in other categories.

National liberal arts:

T117: Drew University;
T164-215: Bloomfield College.

Regional Universities/North:

T4: The College of New Jersey;
T28: Monmouth University;
T32: Ramapo College of New Jersey;
T32: Stockton University;
T38: Rider University;
T56: Fairleigh Dickinson University;
T75: Caldwell University;
T86: St. Peter’s University;
T94: William Paterson University;
T108: Georgian Court University;
T119: Centenary University;
T129-170: The College of St. Elizabeth;
T129-170: Felician University;
T129-170: Kean University;
T129-170: New Jersey City University.

This year marked the 35th year U.S. News has released its college rankings.

The organization said it ranked nearly 1,400 colleges and universities. To calculate the top schools, U.S. News said it focuses on academic quality and places emphasis on outcome measures — including graduation rates, retention rates and social mobility.

Kim Castro, editor and chief content officer of U.S. News, explained the process in a release:

“For more than three decades, we’ve collected and analyzed data on thousands of colleges and universities across the country and helped put schools on the map,” she said. “We’ve found the best institutions to be ones committed to academically and financially supporting their students through graduation. They draw in high-quality professors and set students up for postgraduate success.”

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