Penn State Tumbles To No. 48 In Latest U.S. News And World Report Rankings
While Monday was nothing but good news for Penn Staters, Tuesday started off leaving something to be desired — Penn State fell 11 spots to tie for No. 48 in U.S. News and World Report’s annual college rankings.
The site ranked Penn State 14th among public schools (down from eighth last year), and fifth in the Big Ten, behind Northwestern (13th), Michigan (29th), Illinois (42nd), and Wisconsin (46th). Don’t worry though, we’re still ahead of Ohio State (54th) and cross-state rival Pitt (62nd). The full list of universities can be found here.
While the drop off from last year does seem significant at first glance, there’s no need for panic, as Penn State has historically hung around this area. Recently, Penn State occupied the 46th spot in 2013 and 45th in 2012 (rankings are for the following year, so this year is considered 2015).
The only thing that seems a little odd about the fairly dramatic change in ranking is that U.S. News did include subjective methodology, according to its website. While you’re unable to see all of the stats that they used without being a subscribing member, it does seem odd that Penn State’s ranking has changed that much within a year. Some of U.S. News and World Report’s main factors include “Undergraduate Academic Reputation” —measured by how other schools’ presidents, deans of admission, and provosts rank the schools — freshman retention rate, faculty resources, and student selectivity.
Penn State also ranked in a few other, more specific categories. Smeal’s Supply Chain Management major came in at fifth nationally, while Industrial Engineering came in seventh, and Materials Science came at tenth. Penn State slipped to the second best school for veterans, after being ranked first last year in U.S. News’ inaugural ranking.
While rankings obviously don’t really give a definite answer on which colleges are the best in terms of overall experience or fit for students, it’s always nice to see someone put us ahead of our friends over at Pitt and Ohio State.