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BC Drops Three Spots to No. 39 in ‘U.S. News & World Report’ Rankings

Boston College dropped three spots to No. 39 in U.S. News & World Report’s 2024 rankings of the best national universities. 

Prior to this year’s rankings, BC had held steady at No. 36 for two years. 

U.S. News assessed almost 1,500 four-year universities for its 2024 rankings. These rankings were based on 19 measures, including academic quality, graduate outcomes, campus culture, strength in individual majors, and financial aid distributed, according to its website.

To rank schools, U.S. News gives each university an overall score between zero and 100. Graduation and retention rates account for 21 percent of the total score, graduation rate performance accounts for 10 percent, peer assessment accounts for 20 percent, and financial resources per student accounts for 8 percent, among other measurements. 

Despite its drop in the overall rankings, BC received five more points than last year, earning 79 out of 100 points.

According to its website, U.S. News placed more emphasis on graduate rates for students from all socioeconomic backgrounds. The revised ranking formula also introduced data tied to first-generation college students.

“The predicted rates were modeled from students’ socioeconomic backgrounds – namely those awarded Pell Grants (low-income household) and who were first in their families to attend college (first generation), as well as admissions data, school financial resources, and National Universities’ math and science orientations,” the website reads.

More than a dozen public schools, such as California State University, Fresno and Florida Atlantic University, rose at least 50 spots in this year’s rankings. Consequently, on average, private schools’ rankings plummeted.

Once top-50 private institutions like Tulane University and Brandeis University dove over a dozen spots while BC rose to No. 25 among private universities. 

BC also continued to rank higher than several of its neighboring universities. Boston University fell two spots, tying with Ohio State University and Purdue University at No. 43. Northeastern University dropped 11 spots to tie with University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Florida State University, the College of William and Mary, and Case Western Reserve University at No. 53. Tufts University fell eight spots to No. 40, tied with Rutgers University and the University of Washington.

BC also remained below some of its peer Catholic institutions, with Georgetown University staying at No. 22 and Notre Dame University dropping two places to No. 20.

According to U.S. News, BC ranked No. 5 in “Service Learning”, No. 8 in “First Year Experience” and “Best Undergraduate Teaching,” No. 17 in “Learning Communities,” No. 41 in “Undergraduate Research/Creative Projects,” and No. 51 in “Best Value Schools.” 

The Carroll School of Management ranked seventh in finance, 10th in accounting, analytics, and entrepreneurship, 11th in marketing, and 12th in management. The Connell School of Nursing also ranked 10th place among nursing schools. 

Correction (Sept. 19, 2023 6:15 p.m.): This article was corrected from a previous version to state that BC ranks No. 25 among private universities, not No. 26. 

September 18, 2023