The University of Chicago’s Independent Student Newspaper since 1892

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The University of Chicago’s Independent Student Newspaper since 1892

Chicago Maroon

The University of Chicago’s Independent Student Newspaper since 1892

Chicago Maroon

UChicago Drops to No. 12 in U.S. News Rankings

UChicago gets knocked out of the top 10 for the first time in nearly two decades.
The+admissions+office+housed+in+Rosenwald+Hall.
The admissions office housed in Rosenwald Hall.

U.S. News & World Report released its undergraduate university ranking this Monday. UChicago dropped from No. 6 to No. 12, marking the first time the University is out of the top 10 since 2005. The University was also the only institution to fall out of the top 10 this year.

The downgrade comes amid a significant revamp of U.S. News’s formula that saw metrics including class size removed. U.S. News claims that selected metrics were removed from consideration as they were not universally reported by schools or the U.S. Department of Education.

The decision to forgo class size is especially impactful to the University’s ranking. Core classes have long been capped at 19 students, the number U.S. News considered to be a “small class.” In 2008, then-Dean of College Enrollment Michael Benkhe cited the policy as an example of how administrators had looked to improve the University’s position in rankings.

This revamp also saw an increased focus on metrics pertaining to student outcomes. 

According to U.S. News, “More than half of a school’s rank is now comprised of varying outcome measures related to schools’ success at enrolling, retaining and graduating students from different backgrounds with manageable debt and post-graduate success.”

Despite the drop, the University maintained that rankings will not alter how it operates. In a statement, the University said, “While rankings can fluctuate from year to year, we believe in and remain committed to academics and the fundamentals that have long defined the UChicago experience – such as our smaller class size and the educational level of instructors, considerations that were eliminated from this year’s U.S. News and World Report ranking metrics.”

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About the Contributor
Nikhil Jaiswal
Nikhil Jaiswal, 2023-2024 Co-Editor-in-Chief
A member of the Class of 2024 from Connecticut, Nikhil Jaiswal served as Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Chicago Maroon from Spring Quarter of 2023 to Winter Quarter of 2024. He worked for The Maroon since 2020, first as a reporter, then a senior reporter, and then as an editor in the News section. He covered a range of topics but with a focus on breaking news, rallies, and labor movements. You can find his writing here on The Maroon’s website. In his free time, Nikhil enjoyed getting free merch on campus. To get in contact with Nikhil, reach out to the staff of the Chicago Maroon who can share his email address.
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Comments (7)

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  • M

    Mr. Brendan Leroy Davis / Oct 9, 2023 at 9:16 pm

    I love the school, but hate what an unsafe area it’s in. Do the US News & World Report rankings factor in local crime?

    Reply
  • J

    Javontáe Torahti / Sep 25, 2023 at 1:10 pm

    This is why the school is now ranked around where it belongs- people like this respond with poetry and nonsense instead of hard facts- like grads are not making as much as their ‘so-claimed’ peers, early decision is exploited to a degree no other elite schools could stomach and a very unethical UC administration met with US News in 2005 to boost its ranking- it worked. That ALONE is a reason NOT to applaud UC, because the ethics of that meeting stinks to high heaven. I think UC is fantastic school, but lay off the self righteous horse crap. It is a great school, just not as great as most students think it is. SO what! And that is coming from a 1995 alum. Can you stop feigning outrage- it is embarrassing and reeks of Ivy ENVY. UC is unique. That should be enough!

    Reply
  • X

    Xu (Eric) Beihong / Sep 23, 2023 at 2:19 am

    Preposterous! U.S. News has embarrassed themselves with this display of ignorance. To celebrate our school instead of tut-tutting at these fools, allow me to share some (newly inspired by this outrage) verse:

    In the heart of the Windy City, oh so grand,
    Lies a school of thought, the very best in the land.
    With a nod to the past and an eye on what’s new,
    The University of Chicago, we’re talking to you!

    It’s not just a school; it’s a place of great might,
    Where ideas take flight and reach their full height.
    From economics to physics, from art to the law,
    UChicago’s scholars leave you in awe!

    In Hyde Park they stand, with their Gothic-style halls,
    A place where ambition and curiosity calls.
    The library, Regenstein, reaches for the sky,
    A fortress of knowledge, where the curious can fly.

    But it’s not just the buildings, the architecture, you see,
    It’s the intellectual fervor that makes UChicago unique.
    With a Core Curriculum, both broad and profound,
    They nurture inquisitiveness and wisdom unbound.

    Their faculty’s a treasure, a brilliant array,
    From Nobel laureates to thinkers of the day.
    They inspire and guide with passion and grace,
    Helping students explore every subject and place.

    In research, they shine, from the lab to the field,
    Discovering solutions, refusing to yield.
    From urban studies to health care’s great puzzle,
    UChicago researchers make progress a guzzle!

    And what about students, those eager and bright?
    They come from all over, with dreams taking flight.
    From every background, culture, and creed,
    UChicago’s diversity is what they all need.

    They’re taught to question, to think and to probe,
    To challenge the status quo, and not to disrobe
    From the tough conversations, the debates, and the strife,
    For it’s in the discourse they truly find life.

    But it’s not all work, there’s fun to be had,
    With student groups, clubs, and adventures so rad.
    From Scav Hunt to traditions that never grow old,
    UChicago’s spirit is lively and bold!

    So, why is UChicago ranked at the top?
    It’s the passion, the rigor, the knowledge nonstop.
    It’s the people, the ideas, the city so grand,
    That make UChicago the best in the land!

    So, here’s to the Maroons, with their pride and their glee,
    To the University of Chicago, for all to see.
    In the world of higher ed, they truly stand tall,
    A top-ranked institution, the best of them all!

    Reply
  • D

    Dean Jaizel / Sep 21, 2023 at 10:39 pm

    Class size?? Alderson Broaddus College in West Virginia has smaller class sizes than UChicago- or any other school for that matter. Does that make it Top 10?! They would be very happy to know that that is the new criteria for excellence. Their grads pull in about $30,000.

    Reply
  • M

    Mark Ira Weinstein / Sep 19, 2023 at 6:55 pm

    This just goes to show what bullshit these ratings are. Anyone who believes that in one year this became an inferior college relative to those that are newly ranked higher is a tad too dumb to be at UChicago, or anyplace else for that matter. Class size mattered last year and now users are supposed to believe that they do not matter! Pfui! The scores that they compute mean nothing. They change the weights to generate interest and sales.

    Reply
  • J

    Jacob Myrene / Sep 18, 2023 at 7:21 pm

    Long overdue. The University has historically done a poor job of promoting social mobility relative to (former? ) peer institutions. I’m pleased U.S. News has done away with meaningless metrics.

    And to those deriding the ranking: quiet. Whether it’s merited (which it is) is irrelevant. UChicago’s undergraduate program does not have the same recognition as (formerly? ) comparable institutions (e.g., Northwestern). That it’s no longer ranked top 10 is significant. Some—whose minds are addled by “Life of the Mind” propaganda—don’t understand this.

    As someone else put it: “[The University’s] #3-6 ranking was a huge marketing boon for grabbing the attention of people not already in the academic world.” With that gone, what’s left? There’s no practical engineering program. Career Advancement routinely fails to attract noteworthy companies. Students are unnecessarily stretched thin by 9-week quarters that necessarily sacrifice curriculum depth.

    Who in their right mind would willingly spend $80,000 a year to come here over, say, Northwestern (barring richlings)?

    And to that end: One can’t simultaneously indoctrinate students with “Life of the Mind” fodder and cry foul when graduates—encumbered with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of debt—settle for middling, meager-waged careers and drag our ranking down as a result. This is your own doing.

    @Alivisatos: fix it or get out.

    No. 12. Pfft. How embarrassing. Get it together. The world doesn’t care for your uppity intellectualism.

    Reply
    • D

      Dave Wisnewski / Sep 21, 2023 at 10:58 am

      Your no-holds-barred bias against the College of the University of Chicago shouts from every line of your comments. One particularly egregious and unsupported by facts comment is this one: “…and cry foul when graduates – encumbered with hundreds of thousands worth of debt…” First, only 26 percent of UC undergraduates take out loans of any kind (per Prep Scholar) and the average total loan amount is in the low $20 thousands. Perhaps a few outliers have total loans over $100,000, but nothing whatever like your comment ridiculously states. Moreover, somehow 96 percent of students in the College graduate on time, a metric unmatched by any competing elite university except for Duke. The “Life of the Mind” endures.

      Reply