News and Analysis

Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012 12:15 a.m.

GW falls out of top 50 in U.S. News rankings

Graphic by Nick Rice | Graphics Assistant

GW fell out of the top 50 in U.S. News & World Report’s annual college rankings Tuesday, dropping one spot to No. 51.

Despite improvements in major rankings factors like faculty salaries, student retention and standardized test scores, the University has danced around that slot in the ranking for more than a decade. At No. 51, it is tied with Boston and Tulane universities.

The rankings are considered the gold standard in higher education, but administrators have typically stopped short of giving it much weight publicly until after the rankings are released.

“We certainly do pay attention to US News and World Report, for the undergraduate part of what we are,” Peg Barratt, dean of the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, said Monday. She added that the University is increasingly looking toward international rankings.

U.S. News used data, like alumni giving rate, student-faculty ratio and high school counselor ratings, from the last academic year. While indicators like SAT scores and faculty salaries increased, measures like acceptance rate and student retention between their first and second years declined.

At No. 50 last year, GW tied with Tulane and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institue, which catapulted to No. 42 in the 2013 rankings.

GW hovered near the top 50 mark for a series of years, holding the No. 53 spot in 2008 and 2009.



  • GW Student

    US News rankings are fairly inaccurate. there are so many other ways to rank schools, everyone knows that what the US news and world report focuses on aren’t always what matters. BU and GW being ranked the same? While I respect BU, GW students get a plethora of opportunities that BU students don’t necessarily get, in terms of location and connections formed.

  • cb

    the sky is falling!

  • C

    If this ruins the prestige of my degree, I swear to God…

  • lol

    I guess GW can say goodbye to “peer schools” and “market basket schools” such as Duke and Northwestern. Say hello again to second tier schools like American.

    TT GW

  • george

    “GW Drops One Spot to #51”

    Oh, and “lol” is an idiot.

  • Deleo

    GW is ranked higher than American, so I don’t think the comparison will be with them. The comparison with BU and Tulane however feels right. GW’s admin is trying to convince everyone that the school is on the rise. Until these rankings say otherwise, don’t believe the hype. The school needs better Deans, better professors, better research, more spending on graduate research etc. Boston U has done a great job with research, GW needs to step up it’s efforts. Sorry to see the backwards slide.

  • SK

    I’m not going to get upset over falling one spot on the list; let’s just hope this decline doesn’t have momentum.

  • Russell

    Knapp’s salary should be tied to how GW looks in rankings. GW hasn’t really made any progress since he’s been here, but he’s still getting massive raises. The board of trustees needs to stop paying his million dollar salary unless there are some serious results.

  • OrlyTaitz

    I’m betting GW stayed in the top 50, though, when it came to number of tools.

  • ia major

    Silver lining: the Elliott School ranks in the country’s top 10 undergraduate International Affairs programs.

%d bloggers like this: