Notre Dame is 18th in the latest U.S. News & World Report college rankings but 13th using a new rating system developed by four East Coast scholars.
The alternative system relies on what its developers call “revealed preference ranking,” that entails asking individual students which colleges they prefer, one versus another. The U.S. News rankings derive from such criteria as graduation rates and student-to-faculty ratios, which are weighted to different degrees.
Critics argue that the statistics U.S. News uses can be manipulated by college administrators to boost their ranking. Notre Dame has traditionally been ranked at the far end of the top 20 in the magazine’s “national-universities-doctoral” category.
In the first test of the alternative system, which was developed by researchers at Harvard, Boston University and the University of Pennsylvania, Notre Dame finished 13th among all colleges and universities and 11th if only doctorate-granting institutions were considered.