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Columbia ranked fourth in U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of National Universities

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Columbia has been ranked fourth place in U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of National Universities for the third year in a row. Harvard and Princeton are tied for first place this year, followed by Yale. The University of Chicago is also ranked fourth. Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University are tied for sixth place, Duke University and the University of Pennsylvania are tied for eighth place, and California Institute of Technology and Dartmouth College are tied for tenth place. U.S. News’ “Best Colleges 2013” rankings were released on September 12. 

U.S. News’ ratings were begun in 1983 and are based on peer evaluations, graduation and freshman retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, graduation rate performance and alumni giving rate.

Dean of Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid Jessica Marinaccio said she hopes students and their families look at this ranking as just one piece of data in of choosing where they would like to attend college. 

"We look at college rankings with a certain amount of skepticism, questioning their evolving methodologies and their sway over a student's college choice," she said. "We are proud, nevertheless, of all the factors that led US News and World Report to once again see us as one of the best universities in the world—the Columbia academic experience, our faculty's commitment to undergraduate education, the financial resources provided  to our students, the generosity and dedication of our alumni, and our high retention and graduation rates."

"Instead of relying on rankings, we hope prospective students will truly explore all that Columbia has to offer through all sources and by visiting campus to evaluate whether we might be the best fit for them."

Columbia is listed under the "National Universities" category, which include universities that offer a full range of undergraduate majors, master’s, and doctoral degrees, and are committed to producing groundbreaking research. The University climbed from eighth place to fourth place two years ago.

For more information and to see the full list of rankings, visit or