In 2011, the university was tied in rank with Boston University at number 53, which is now ranked at number 41. Pepperdine University, which was tied with Fordham in the 2013 ranking, rose three spots to number 54.
According to the U.S News & World Report, the formula used to determine rankings of these universities “uses quantitative measures that education experts have proposed as reliable indicators of academic quality.” The site notes factors such as freshman retention rate, acceptance rate, strength of faculty and graduation rates as key in determining a school’s ranking.
Fordham is currently ranked among other national universities, which the U.S. News & World Report describes on their website as offering “a full range of undergraduate majors, plus master’s and doctoral programs…colleges committed to producing groundbreaking research.” The university currently has a freshman retention rate of 89 percent and an acceptance rate of 47 percent. It is currently ranked fourth among other national Catholic universities, including the University of Notre Dame, Georgetown University and Boston College.
The U.S. News & World Report collected data from almost 1,800 universities and colleges across the country, but only 1,365 were designated a Rank Not Published (RNP) or numerical rank. The U.S. News also released updated rankings for national liberal arts colleges, regional universities and regional colleges.
In the past 12 years, Fordham has experienced a huge jump in the U.S. news rankings, having stood at number 84 in 2002. Since 2011, however, the rankings have been somewhat stagnant. The U.S. News & World Report currently ranks Fordham’s law school at number 36 and its graduate business school at number 92 among national graduate programs. Fordham’s highest ranked graduate program by the U.S. News & World Report is its graduate school of social work, which is ranked at number 11.
While the U.S. News World Report may be the most highly recognized of all college ranking magazines, it does not hold a monopoly on college rankings. In 2013, Forbes Magazine ranked Fordham 163 out of 650 schools nationally. The Princeton Review has also listed Fordham in its list of 373 best colleges in the country. All in all, student reactions to the drop in rankings have been mixed.
“I’m very disappointed at the downward trend Fordham has been experiencing for the past few years,” said Kristen Santer, FCRH ’17. “The administration keeps advertising that each year our stats are vastly improving, but the rankings are telling another story.”
Cate Carrejos, FCRH ’17, was less concerned about the decline. “In the long run, I believe Fordham will continue to rise in the rankings as it has for the past decade,” Carrejos said. “I cannot imagine that a few drops in the rank of a single report would deter employers from hiring or offering an internship to a Fordham graduate.”
Laura Sanicola is the Assistant News Editor for The Fordham Ram.