Illustration by Reine Defranco

NYU Drops in Rankings

With NYU dropping from 32 to 36 in the U.S. News & World Report, what does this mean for NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai?

Oct 9, 2016

NYU dropped from its spot as the 32nd best university in the United States to number 36 in the U.S. News & World Report’s most recent ranking. NYU had held the 33rd to 32nd position in the rankings since 2011, and some students at the New York campus saw the drop with concern. Along with this recent drop in the U.S. News & World Report ranking, NYU also suffered a slight loss in the Times Higher Education World University Ranking and Academic Ranking of World Universities, while gaining significantly in the QS World University Ranking.
U.S. News & World Report is the near-ubiquitous source of information on U.S. American universities for United States residents. While not citing specific reasons for NYU’s decline, the publication did disclose their information on their ranking matrix. According to the U.S. News & World Report’s website, their academic rankings for universities in 2016 were composed of:
Graduation and Retention Rates — 22 percent Undergraduate Academic Reputation — 22.5 percent Faculty Resources — 20 percent Student Selectivity — 12.5 percent Financial Resources — 10 percent Graduation Rate Performance — 7.5 percent Alumni Giving Rank — 5 percent
U.S. News & World Report’s rankings accounted for quantitative variables, such as student’s SAT and ACT scores, and student selectivity, which is the ratio of applicants to students accepted. The criteria also accounted for qualitative variables, especially Undergraduate Academic Reputation, which was compiled from the results of several surveys sent to public high school counselors and university administrators which measured their general feelings about various schools.
In terms of the major international rankings, NYU had mixed results. The Times Higher Education World University Ranking 2016-2017 ranked NYU number 32, which was largely consistent with last year’s ranking of 30. In ARWU 2016, NYU ranked number 29; little changed from last year’s number 27. In QS World University Ranking 2016-17, NYU rose from number 53 last year to number 46 this year, ahead of schools such as Brown University at 49 and Carnegie Mellon University at 58.
NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai are not separately ranked and are considered constituent colleges of NYU, like the Stern School of Business. That said, NYU’s rankings mostly reflected data collected from NYU’s New York campus student body, since the university hosts a majority of its students in New York.
Students based in Shanghai and Abu Dhabi voiced apathy to the recent rankings change in U.S. News & World Report and to rankings of NYU in general.
“I really couldn’t care less. NYUAD is such a different academic institution with vastly different financial resources. A change in NYU’s rank overall means little,” said NYUAD junior Alex Matters. In terms of rankings in general, NYUSH junior Spencer Smith discussed concerns with U.S. News & World Report rankings methodology and commented on the rankings change.
“It doesn’t change my life at all. I don’t think the value of an education changes based on whether [U.S. News & World Report] thinks NYU is 32 or 36,” he said.
Henry Jiang is Deputy Research Editor. Tom Klein is News Editor. Email them at feedback@thegazelle.org.
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