Utah schools go south in national rankings
The Salt Lake Tribune
By Sheena McFarland
U. doesn't make the list, BYU drops 9 spots amid changed judging criteria
U.S. News and World Report ranked several Utah universities and colleges in its upcoming issue, though none of the state's schools fared as well this year as last.
Brigham Young University dropped from 70th-best college nationally to 79th, and the University of Utah didn't make the rankings despite having ranked 120th last year.
Westminster College also slid from 20th to 23rd for colleges with master's programs in the West. Weber State University, which had the 41st-best master's program in the West last year, went unranked this year because the school does not require an ACT or SAT score for admission, a new criterion for the rankings.
The judging criteria changed significantly this year, according to U.S. News, and can account for drops in some categories.
While the schools participate in the rankings because they recognize that parents and potential students use such guides, they also recognize the limitations of the criteria.
"While we are pleased with our ranking in U.S. News . . . we also know there are imperfections in this system," Westminster President Michael Bassis said. "None of the factors that they rate say anything about what or how learning happens once the students are in college."
Also, much of the assessment comes from peer institutions' administrators, who may not have an intimate knowledge of a campus, he said.
In overall rankings for the nation's best colleges, Princeton topped Harvard, followed by Yale, Stanford and Caltech.