Columbia has been ranked in the top three national and world universities for the first time ever, beating Stanford and tying with Yale for the third spot, according to U.S. News Rankings.
U.S. News Rankings evaluate schools based on 16 areas of academic excellence, including strength of faculty and first-year retention. Starting this year, U.S. News expanded their evaluation criteria to include two indicators of social mobility based on graduation rates of Pell Grant recipients, the accuracy of which has been debated.
These factors are particularly salient given the population of Columbia’s School of General Studies, where almost 40 percent of students receive Pell Grants.
Since 1983, when the first listings were released, Columbia has never broken into the top three rankings for U.S. News. This year, Columbia’s ranking tied with that of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Chicago, and Yale.
In the past decade, Columbia has consistently fallen between the 10th- and third-best universities, achieving its former highest ever rank of four every year between 2011 and 2016. In 2017, Columbia ranked number five.