GW drops in rankings for fourth consecutive year

Updated: Sept. 9, 2015 at 3:24 p.m.

GW dropped three spots in the U.S. News & World Report rankings this year, landing at No. 57 in the national universities category, according to a release on Wednesday.

Experts said last year that GW’s relatively small endowment compared to its peers’ could have held it back in rankings. It is the fourth straight year GW has fallen in the list.

University President Steven Knapp said in a panel discussion at the Economic Club on Wednesday that the rankings are geared to attract readers to the magazine, and don’t paint an accurate or complete picture of an institution.

“We’d all probably agree, the problem with the rankings is they apply a one-size fits all methodology and I think it overlooks that diversity of the institutions and admissions, and the character of institution, the kinds of students that could take advantage of what the institutions has to offer. That’s not really reflected very effectively in these rankings,” Knapp said at the event.

GW is tied at No. 57 with the University of Connecticut, the University of Maryland, College Park and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

GW’s peer school, Northwestern University, landed at No. 12 on the list. Peer schools Washington University in St. Louis, Duke and Vanderbilt universities also made it into the top 20, while Georgetown and Emory universities were tied at No. 21, according to the release. Princeton University nabbed the top spot for the third year in a row.

GW topped just two of its 14 peer schools — American University and Southern Methodist University.

Schools were ranked using admissions data from 2014, not the most recent admissions cycle. GW officials admitted 45 percent of applicants to this fall’s class, the highest rate in more than a decade.

U.S. News revoked GW’s No. 51 ranking in 2012 after officials admitted they had inflated admissions data for more than a decade.

The University joins a list of 50 institutions that The Princeton Review found “create futures” for students, based on a survey of more than 18,000 students and 200 interviews with administrators, faculty and staff members across the nation.

The Tuesday release said the schools chosen for the list have “excellent” career services, research opportunities for undergraduates and strong alumni networks that can help students score jobs after graduation.

Trustee Mark Shenkman donated $5 million gift to career services in May 2014. Trustee George Wellde donated another $1 million to the Center for Career Services last fiscal year.

The University of Southern California, Duke University and Washington University in St. Louis, three of GW’s peer schools, are also on The Princeton Review list.

Robin Eberhardt contributed reporting.

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