UM’s US News and World Report Best National University ranking falls to #67 amid methodology changes

The U statue in the center of Coral Gables campus. Photo credit: Alexandra Fisher

The University of Miami is now #67 in the newly released 2024 U.S. News & World Report National University ranking, dropping 12 spots from last year’s report.

Previously at place #55, UM shares the #67 ranking with five other universities including Villanova University, University of Pittsburgh, Syracuse University, University of Massachusetts-Amherst and George Washington University.

The change, in part, reflects an update to the U.S. News ranking methodology that dropped five “longstanding” categories and emphasized socioeconomic elements as well as graduate outcomes, U.S. News said.

“More than half of a school’s rank is now comprised of varying outcome measures related to schools’ success at enrolling, retaining and graduating students from different backgrounds with manageable debt and post-graduate success,” U.S. News reported.

These updates include the addition of first generation students’ graduation and performance rates and an assessment on if college graduates are making more than high school graduates (all totalling to 10% of the overall ranking).

In a statement to the Board of Trustees, President Julio Frenk said, “University rankings, as we have long agreed, are a means for driving success and continuous improvement, not an end in and of themselves.”

In regards to the changing algorithms, Frenk pointed out that only two indicators from last year held the same percentage weight, including the academic reputation score, based on peer assessment, which increased for UM. He also stated that the shift to stress diversity and social mobility inherently favors public institutions.

“In Florida, for example, every public institution improved in the rankings, while every private institution declined. These trends hold nationally, with only one in four private universities retaining or improving their 2023 ranking, favoring those that have large endowments,” Frenk said in his statement.

Among private national research universities UM moved up one place to #36.

Florida State University, one of the public universities that tied with UM last year, moved up in the rankings to spot #53. Other universities previously tied at #55, including Rutgers, Santa Clara and Pepperdine University moved to spots #40, #60 and #76 respectively.

“It is something disheartening to see because our tuition is so expensive,” junior neuroscience major Ann Sia said. “There are a lot of benefits to being a private school, but I was still really sad to see that the ranking is lower this year.”

The drop in the rankings follows a consistent decline since the 2012 report that ranked UM at #38 and as the best university in Florida. Despite the nearly 30 place drop, UM remains confident in their abilities to serve students and the wider UM community.

“The University of Miami continues to draw accomplished scholars, researchers, and clinicians to South Florida, and we were recently chosen as one of the newest members of the Association of American Universities (AAU), a national organization of leading research universities,” Jacqueline R. Menendez, vice president for University Communications, released in a statement. “We remain focused on our mission of providing world-class education, research, and health care, while also serving the needs of our local community.”