Brandeis rises in U.S. News rankings of universities

Ranking of 31st, up three from last year, is shared with Boston College

Brandeis University has once again been named one of the top schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, as well as one of the best values.

In annual rankings released today, Brandeis is 31st among national universities, up three positions from last year. 

The biggest factors in the university’s 2012 overall rank include significant improvements in the categories of undergraduate academic reputation, six-year graduation rate and alumni giving rate.

Positive assessments by high school guidance counselors helped propel the undergraduate academic reputation, ranking data shows. The counselors’ opinions were counted along with ratings from college admissions deans, provosts and presidents.

Brandeis is classified by U.S. News as a national university and was compared with 268 other institutions that offer a wide range of undergraduate majors, master’s and doctoral degrees, and that emphasize research. Brandeis shares the 31st ranking with Boston College, which remained steady in that position from last year.

Tufts University and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill shared the position just ahead of Brandeis and B.C., while William and Mary and New York University shared the position just behind.

In addition to its overall standing, Brandeis placed 34th in the “Great Schools, Great Prices” ranking. The best-value schools were selected on the basis of academic quality and the net cost of attendance for a student who receives the average level of need-based financial aid, reflecting Brandeis’s commitment to provide access through financial support.

Brandeis also ranked among the most internationally diverse national universities, with 12 percent of students coming from outside the United States.

U.S. News & World Report has released its rankings since 1983 and today, despite competitors, continues to dominate the college-ranking business. The rankings have drawn a chorus of criticism and misgivings from a wide range of critics including college and university leaders, yet last year’s U.S. News rankings drew more than 10 million Internet hits on launch day, according to the Washington Post.

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