All three Rutgers campuses — New Brunswick, Camden and Newark — moved to their highest overall public university rankings to date, according to a press release. All three campuses are also among the top 100 national universities for the U.S. News & World Report's 2024 Best Colleges rankings.
The U.S. News & World Report ranked the New Brunswick campus at No. 15 in national public universities, up from No. 19 last year. The Camden campus moved from No. 61 last year to No. 49 this year, and the Newark campus saw the most significant jump from No. 53 last year to No. 40 this year in public universities.
"This is exciting news for all of us across Rutgers because it signals that in complementing our longstanding academic excellence, the work we are doing to make a Rutgers education more accessible while strengthening support for our remarkable, diverse students is being reflected in increasingly strong rankings," said University President Jonathan Holloway in the release.
The U.S. News & World Report rankings gauge 1,500 universities and colleges on 19 different collegiate characteristics. New factors measured include return on investment for graduates, price and debt incurred by students, according to a press release from the U.S. News & World Report.
"The significant changes in this year's methodology are part of the ongoing evolution to make sure our rankings capture what is most important for students as they compare colleges and select the school that is right for them," said Eric Gertler, executive chairman and CEO of U.S. News & World Report, in the release.
The ranking's factors are based on percentage weights assigned to different categories for each university or college, according to a recent article from U.S. News & World Report. Categories include graduation rates, weighted the highest at 16 percent, first-year retention rates at 5 percent, Pell graduation rates at 5.5 percent, faculty salaries at 8 percent and student-faculty ratio at 4 percent, according to the report.
Class size, degree levels of faculty, alumni contributions, high school class rank and the percentage of graduates borrowing federal loans were the five factors removed from the the ranking process. The weight of these previous five categories, totaling 18 percent, were redistributed and reorganized throughout new and old ranking categories.
New weighted categories include the percentage of students earning more than an average high school graduate, first-generation college student enrollees and graduates and cited journal research from faculty.
Social mobility was also a new factor highlighted in the release, which measures how universities enroll students from lower economic backgrounds, according to the article.
"Today's good news is a strong signal that we are focused on what is most important at Rutgers," Holloway said. "More work lies ahead as we continue to pursue academic excellence and reach Rutgers' full potential in serving its vital mission within and beyond New Jersey."