Georgetown rose from 23rd to 21st in the 2011 version of the annual U.S. News & World Report national universities rankings, driven up the list by high marks in the high school counselor rankings and other specialty areas.
The change ended Georgetown’s five-year stay in the 23rd position.
“Georgetown is pleased that we maintained strong rankings for our undergraduate programs and especially appreciate the input of high school counselors in this effort,” University President John J. DeGioia said in a university press release.
Georgetown ranked sixth in the high school counselor category. This year was the first year the publication included a survey of high school counselors, which was given a 7.5 percent weight in the overall ranking.
“We place more value on this new ranking because the people who are surveyed are actually in the marketplace,” University Dean of Admissions Charles Deacon said. “We believe that this is a much truer indication of how Georgetown ranks.”
Originally, the publication only used an academic peer assessment, which included opinions by university presidents.
“We have added the opinions of high school counselors since we believe they have considerable knowledge about the college admissions process and that they have highly informed views on many colleges in their region and nationwide,” a post on the U.S. News & World Report website said.
According to Deacon, the university did well in this category because it has long-term relationships with many of the counselors surveyed as Georgetown representatives visit schools in all 50 states each year. The raise is expected to have a positive impact on admissions yield because many applicants refer to rankings to ultimately make college decisions.
“This will impact people who are not as well informed about colleges,” Deacon said.
The university improved in many of the magazine’s specialty rankings, as well. The undergraduate program at the McDonough School of Business moved from 21st to 19th this year.
“We owe our continued success to our devoted faculty, our talented students and the creative energy generated by the space in our new building,” said Norean Sharpe, undergraduate dean of the business school. “In addition, our [undergraduate] program staff have been working hard to implement and support new initiatives and programs, such as our First Year Seminar, the Professional Development Series and the Compass Fellows Program,” Sharpe said.
U.S. News & World report also included Georgetown on its list of the 25 most economically diverse universities, which is tied to the number of students who receive Pell Grants.
Representatives from the Office of Student Financial Services declined to comment for this report.
The issue of U.S. News & World Report including the list will be available starting Aug. 31.