GW fell seven spots to No. 63 on the U.S. News & World Report ranking of the best universities in the nation.
This year marks the biggest decrease in the University’s ranking in at least a decade. The No. 63 position is also the lowest ranking GW has received in the same time period. GW clocked in at No. 56 last year for the second year in a row – a small bump from No. 57 in 2015. GW ranked No. 54 in 2014, falling two spots from No. 52 the previous year.
The University has typically hovered in the 50s on the list, but it hasn’t hit No. 50 or better since before 2012 – when it was initially listed at No. 51 but was later downgraded to “unranked” after officials admitted to inflating their admissions statistics for more than a decade.
GW tied with two universities for the ranking this year: University of Connecticut and University of Maryland at College Park.
Princeton University maintained the top spot for the eighth year in a row. Harvard University was named No. 2 and four schools – Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Chicago and Yale and Columbia universities – tied for third.
GW ranked at least 10 places below all but one of its peer institutions – University of Pittsburgh, which was slated No. 70. University of Southern California and Georgetown University tied for the highest spot among GW’s peers, both securing the No. 22 position.
Last year, GW was the lowest of its peer group, but the University shuffled the list earlier this year during University President Thomas LeBlanc’s first year.
The University hasn’t risen above the No. 50 spot since 1998, when it took 46th.
U.S. News & World Report altered its methodology ahead of this year’s list, removing admissions data and factoring graduation rates for students in financial need who receive federal Pell Grants into their decisions.
The rankings are determined by university statistics including assessments by administrators at peer schools, first-year retention rate, financial resources and alumni giving, according to its website.