Dartmouth's ranking remains steady

by John Teti | 9/6/01 5:00am

Dartmouth retained its ninth-place spot in U.S. News & World Report's annual college rankings, tying for that position with Columbia University and University of Chicago.

The 2002 list, released on usnews.com, placed Princeton at No. 1 for the second consecutive year. Among other Ivies, Harvard and Yale remained tied at second while Penn moved up one position to fifth. Cornell and Brown took 14th and 16th, respectively.

Dartmouth had been slipping on the U.S. News list until last year, when it jumped from 11th to ninth place.

Dean of Admissions Karl Furstenberg was not available for comment.

U.S. News made no changes to its methodology this year, although it did re-categorize some institutions. The magazine ranks schools based on surveys returned by college administrators. Academic reputation, faculty resources and graduation rate hold the most weight in determining the rankings.

The U.S. News list is used by many prospective students to evaluate their options, but perennial criticism has brought the rankings' objectivity and merit into question.

Amy Graham, a former data analyst for U.S. News, created waves earlier this summer when she co-wrote a piece for The Washington Monthly debunking the methodology used in creating the Best Colleges list.

Graham claimed that the U.S. News system was skewed toward institutions with high wealth and reputation, so schools that provided the best education did not necessarily achieve the highest rankings.

U.S. News stands by its process, claiming on usnews.com that "our method serves families well."