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BYU moves up in U.S. News 2012 Best Colleges rankings

University up four spots in overall rankings; seven spots in 'best value'

Brigham Young University jumped up four spots to 71st in the U.S. News & World Report 2012 Best Colleges rankings, released earlier this week.

BYU also surged seven spots to 13th in the “Great Schools, Great Prices” category while holding steady at the No. 3 spot for best accounting programs.

The 350-page 2012 Best Colleges guidebook, which hits newsstands Sept. 20, ranks more than 1,400 four-year accredited colleges and universities. BYU falls into the category of "national universities," which includes schools that offer a full range of undergraduate majors, plus master's and doctoral degrees.

This year BYU is also ranked 8th in the category of “Least Debt,” which compares the average debt carried by departing graduates. The Marriott School of Management is ranked 36th in the category of undergraduate business programs.

The Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology was also listed among the top engineering schools, with its undergraduate program ranked 82nd.

In specialty categories, the Marriott School moved up three spots to 14th in international business while also registering 21st in entrepreneurship.

Princeton and Harvard tied for the top spot in the "national universities" category, followed by Yale, Columbia and the California Institute of Technology.

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Rankings are suspect
  9/15/2011 1:55 PM by Bryce

While I agree that BYU is a great institution and that we have much to be proud of, it isn't because of rankings like those provided in U.S. News & World Report. The criteria used in determining the rankings really don't say much about the quality of teaching and learning that take place on a campus. For instance, does alumni giving (one of the factors which influences the rankings) really tell us anything at all about how much or how well students learn? Additionally, 25% of the overall ranking score for an institution is determined by peer reviews submitted by other university presidents, individuals who often know very little about the institutions they are "reviewing."

We like the rankings because they are easy to report on in news releases like the one above and look nice when blown up in glossy brochures we give to parents. However, good institutions (like BYU) are good for reasons extending far deeper than the data reported to U.S. News & World Report.

Story Highlights

  • 8th  Least Debt
  • 13th  Great Schools, Great Prices
  • 36th  Undergraduate Business
  • 71st  National University
  • 82nd  Engineering program

Marriott School specialty rankings:

  • 3rd  Accounting Program
  • 14th  International Business
  • 21st  Business Entrepreneurship
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