U.S. News & World report ranks Notre Dame at no. 19
By JASON McFARLEY
Notre Dame ranked 19th in U.S. News & World Report's "2001 America's Best Colleges" guide, which was released to newsstands Monday. This is the second consecutive year Notre Dame earned the 19th spot on the list.
"Certainly if there's going to be a list of the top universities in the country, we should be on it," said Dennis Moore, Notre Dame's director of public relations and information.
Moore said University officials are pleased with the ranking but noted that they don't pay any great deal of consideration to such lists. The annual ly published guide is a means to gauge national perceptions of schools but not necessarily colleges' educational quality, Moore said.
"Through the years, the ranks only reflect changes in the methodology of the ranking system, not anything we did at the University," Moore said, adding that there may be no legitimate means to rank universities with different missions and goals.
Notre Dame submits statistical information about the University prior to the magazine's published list, but not ever ranked university and college participates in this practice.
According to Moore, publishers will rank a college whether or not it submits the requested information. "We figure that if a lot of people are going to be making judgments based on this publication, we might as well give them accurate, up-to-date information," Moore said.
Ivy League schools Princeton, Harvard and Yale topped this year's list of best colleges. Harvard earned the top spot with 99 points. Last year's No.1 California Institute of Technology slipped to No. 4. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology rounds out the top five universities for 2001.
Three schools — Columbia Univeristy, Cornell University and the University of Chicago — tied for the No. 10 spot.
Emory University ranked just ahead of Notre Dame, while the University of California-Berkeley placed just behind. Notre Dame finished with 85 total points in the survey.
U.S. News & World Report evaluates schools on 16 measures of academic achievement, with academic reputation, student selectivity, faculty resources and graduation and retention rates given the most weight.
At 95 percent, Notre Dame's graduation rate was beaten only by Princeton and Harvard.
"That's a category that we've always done well in," Moore said of the 1999 graduation figure.
The University also fared well with its retention rate of first-year students from 1999 to 2000. Notre Dame retained 98 percent of first-year students.
According to the guide, 83 percent of the Class of 2003 entered the University in the fall of 1999 as graduates in the top 10 percent of their high school classes. That, in addition to a 35 percent acceptance rate, make s Notre Dame one of the most selective universities in the nation.
Other factors used to rank schools included SAT and ACT scores, faculty to student ratios, and alumni donations.
All News Stories for Tuesday, September 5, 2000