Georgetown moved up one spot to tie for 20th in the U.S. News and World Report’s 2014 college rankings, which were announced Tuesday.
After consistently moving up one slot each year for the last two years, Georgetown shares this year’s ranking with Emory University and the University of California, Berkley. This marks the first time Georgetown has placed in the top 20 since 1999, although the highest ranking Georgetown has held in the U.S. News report was 17th in 1989, 1993 and 1994.
“We are honored to once again be recognized among the leading universities in the nation by U.S. News and World Report,” university spokesperson Stacy Kerr said. “While it is significant to receive strong rankings across all of our programs, we recognize that these studies are only one of the many factors that students use to select Georgetown.”
Although Dean of Admissions Charles Deacon said that the 20th place underestimates the university’s resources, he deflected the rankings’ importance on a larger scale.
“The bottom line is that it’s not a big deal, we tend not to make it a big deal,” Deacon said. “I think if we suddenly dropped off the list it would be an issue, but I don’t think it is a factor.”
Deacon added, however, that the increase would most likely affect prospective students coming from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.
“I think it makes a difference, regrettably, for the least informed,” Deacon said.
In addition, Georgetown’s strong international image is a major selling point for international students, who are also heavily influenced by the annual college rankings. According to Deacon, these students are not as familiar with U.S. universities and often rely on such rankings.
“It’s probably a lot more of an impact because they are a lot more removed from the process,” Deacon said. “Georgetown does have a strong name abroad from the early days of many graduates in the foreign service.”
The rankings were based on peer university evaluations, high-school counselor ratings, freshman retention rate, graduation rate, class sizes, faculty pay and credentials, admissions selectivity and financial resources.
Of all the categories, Deacon said that the high school counselor rankings were most telling, in which Georgetown ranked 12th and received a 4.7 out of 5 point ranking.
“[High school counselors] seem to have a better handle, in my opinion, on what this means for their high school senior class,” Deacon said. “We are much happier to see how they rank us than how the presidents and provosts rank us.”