Sept. 13, 2016 – U.S. News & World Report today announced the 2017 Best Colleges rankings to help students worldwide compare the academic quality of more than 1,800 U.S.-based schools. Princeton University remains No. 1 in the Best National Universities category. For the 14th consecutive year, Williams College takes the top spot on the Best National Liberal Arts Colleges list.
California schools and military academies make a strong showing on the Top Public Schools lists. University of California—Berkeley is the No. 1 Top Public School among National Universities for the 19th year; the United States Naval Academy is the No. 1 Top Public School among National Liberal Arts Colleges.
As for Texas colleges, there were some surprises:
- All of the public colleges dropped in the list of best schools from last year’s rankings
- SMU is now tied with UT Austin as the 2nd best university in the state
- Baylor University surpassed A&M
- Dallas Baptist University made the list this year, after being unranked last year
- Texas Tech dropped 8 spots, to 176
Here’s a list of the Texas schools. Their rankings last year are in parentheses.
15. Rice University (18 last year)
56. SMU (61)
56. University of Texas at Austin (52)
71. Baylor University (72)
74. Texas A&M University (70)
82. TCU (82)
146. University of Texas at Dallas (140)
176. Texas Tech University (168)
194. University of Houston (187)
214. Dallas Baptist University (unranked last year)
The U.S. News and World Report rankings are highly controversial. Critics call them too simplistic and say students and school administrators pay too much attention to them. But there is no question that the rankings are important. Gov. Greg Abbott has said he wants to see five Texas universities among the top 10 public schools. (Currently, there are none.) UT System Chancellor Bill McRaven has often cited the rankings during discussions of higher education policy in the state.