Rutgers named one of America’s Top 20 Public Colleges

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – Rutgers University in New Brunswick is now one of the top 20 public universities in the country, according to US News and World Reports Ranking of the best colleges 2022-2023, just released on Monday.

Rutgers-New Brunswick ranked #19 among top public schools in the United States

Princeton University was also ranked #1 in a separate list of top national universities. National universities, which focus on research and offer several doctoral programs, are classified separately from liberal arts colleges and public schools.

Rutgers was also highlighted for its support of veterans and its focus on student social mobility.

For social mobility, Rutgers-Newark is in the top 10 national universities at No. 7, while Rutgers-Camden is ranked No. 30 and Rutgers-New Brunswick No. 63. As of 2019, American News took into account a school’s success in promoting social mobility by measuring the success of students who received federal Pell Grants, among other factors. Students who receive Federal Pell Grants typically come from households with family incomes of less than $50,000 per year.

The ranking of the best colleges, started by US News and World Report in the mid-1980s, this year rated an all-time high of 1,500 American colleges and universities.

Only academic data from its surveys of higher education institutions and trusted third-party sources, including academic peers, is used to calculate each ranking factor.

American News notes that 40% of a school’s ranking comes from seven different outcomes measuring its success in enrolling, retaining, and graduating students from diverse backgrounds with manageable debt. Five factors related to a school’s faculty, including class size and the number of teaching faculty relative to the number of students, account for 20% of a school’s ranking.

Two businesses emerged in the 1980s that changed higher education: the test prep business — largely shaped by Stanley Kaplan, who founded Kaplan, Inc. — and the start of U.S. News & World Report rankings, according to Business Insider.

American News began to rate universities based on the test scores of admitted students, prompting colleges to want more high-scoring applicants. Universities offered merit-based scholarships and financial incentives to high-performing students. As a result, affluent parents of college applicants paid for test prep for their children in order to obtain these incentives.

James Fallows, a former editor of US News, even called them “meaningless” in an interview with NPR.

“The reason they started doing it in the early 1980s under a man named Mel Elfin was because it was a brilliant business strategy,” Fallows said of US News and World Report. “By appealing to the human desire for rankings and knowing where you rank and where somebody else ranks, they were able to do a very important part of their business, which is now essentially the only part of their business.”

National Patch Team contributed to this report.

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